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Top tips for bringing out your kids' creativity!

As school holidays are in full swing, I thought I'd share some of the ways that I encourage children to draw. Encouraging little ones to be creative can seem a bit daunting - especially if you don’t feel like you are the most artistic person. Luckily, you don't need to be - the key is just to remember its all about experimenting and having fun!

Here are some of my top tips for encouraging your children to pick up a pencil and paper:

 - Make sure they know that there is NO SUCH THING as a mistake!
This is the most important thing. Mistakes and accidents often lead to the most fun and interesting parts of a drawing. Make sure your child understands there is no right or wrong way to draw – as long as they’re enjoying it they’re doing it right.

- Put something out for them to draw.
Sometimes children (of all ages!) will say they can’t draw because they feel like they ‘don’t have any ideas’. So, give them a starting point, maybe flowers, fruit, lego... anything with fun colours and shapes for them to get stuck into.

- With little ones, printing is often a great way to start.
With potatoes, fingers, hands or feet you can make big and bold images quickly. Even painting on one half of paper, folding it over and peeling it back to make a mirrored ‘splat’ print can be really effective and fun for all ages.

    - Chalk is great for outdoor play.They can be used on the pavement/patio/drive/doorstep and will wash away easily. Perfect for summer days, creating maps, mazes or even hopscotch challenges!

    - There is nothing wrong with a simple colouring sheet.
    Colouring can be really calming and stress relieving for both children and adults. If they’re fed up of colouring, you can try drawing an outline yourself for them to colour (a squiggle is fine!) or maybe some new exciting colours/pens for them to try – which brings me on to my next point!

    - You don't need lots of expensive kit.
    In terms of materials, I think pencil crayons are amazing! They make a fantastic gift and you can get very inexpensive but grown-up looking sets of pencils. It is also now easy to find exciting neon/metallic/pastel colours which can renew their love for colouring.
    Watercolour pencils can also be a revelation for children - and much less messy for parents! Children can make their drawing as usual, then dip a finger or paintbrush in a mug of water and rub it over their drawing to make watercolours - just like magic! I also really recommend the paints you can get from Ikea. They are cheap, come in lots of colours, and best of all they are washable!

    I do hope this helps give you some inspiration and confidence to get creative with the children in your life. Please do send me photos of any creations that your kids come up with over the summer - it brightens up the studio no end if we receive lovely mail from children all over the country! Here is a spaceship that my son Fin drew for me recently! 

    Happy drawing! x


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