creative kid making an art

How to Inspire Creativity in Your Children


Featured image is a peek over the shoulder of Sketchbook Skool student Nathalie Renotte’s niece, Yseult, as she practices some flowers using watercolor.

In a previous post about how to break up your drawing routine, we recommended drawing with someone much older or much younger. This week, conversations have come up in our community referencing different bloggers and artists who engage with their younger companions through their drawing habits. This sparked a discussion about how to inspire creativity in your children(or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, family friends etc.) and make drawing something you can both enjoy together.

Simple Ways To Encourage Creativity In Your Child

We heard from lots of students who approach this practice differently. We also noticed a trend in that these methods of collaborating with children in a creative way not only sparked inspiration in the child, but yielded a renewed vision and curiosity in the adult sketcher.

Here are some fantastic ways that Sketchbook Skool students inspired young artists to pick up a pen and draw alongside them:

Elsbeth McLeod picks out faces and heads from classical works of art and reproduces them in pen and watercolor. Then she gives up the page to her grandchildren to let them finish the figures. As you can see, these classical portraits turn into whimsical creatures that seem to leap off the page.

Ann Sinarski experiments with different mediums thanks to her grandchildren and their preference for their Etch-A-Sketches. She turns it into a game that involves drawing different objects the children pick up around the house in quick one minute sittings. Working quickly makes drawing exciting even for the littlest of artists.

Sometimes a drawing can unintentionally capture the attention of a young one. For Corinne Ogelsby McNamara, a trip to the park to draw her 17 month old granddaughter while she played turned into a collaborative excursion. Her granddaughter became curious and wanted to add her own marks to the page. Corinne continued drawing and worked those marks into her composition, added a little description, and now has a page that documented their adventure together.

Depending on the age of the artist you are working with, inviting them along on a sketch crawl can be an excellent adventure for both of you. Here, Pamela McGee Leal and her daughter ventured to a city park for their own sketch crawl. Seeing their subject side-by-side in their sketchbooks is a fun way to see two contrasting styles of the same object.

Another example of some fun art side-by-side is this joint portrait created by Lynn Cohen and her granddaughter Yael Kaplan. On the right, Lynn drew Yael and on the left, Yael returned the favor!

Sometimes drawing can also save the day when you are out and about with children. In this case, Carolyn Egerszegi grabbed a sketchbook from her bag to occupy a friend’s fidgety three-year-old in the audience at a music recital. The quick little sketches all combine to create a really great composition.

In addition to these ways of getting young sketchers involved, writer and Sketchbook Skool student Melissa Wiley offers up lots of ideas for getting a family involved in creative endeavors on her website. In one of her posts, she provides tips on how to get kids drawing and two pieces of advice really stand out when it comes to drawing along with kids:

  • Allow time and room for mess. Don’t stress! Art and creativity can be very messy and this is a good thing. Don’t worry if whoever you are drawing with spills some ink on your page or on themselves.
  • Just dive in and do it! When it comes to your own drawing, having this attitude will show those around what all the hype is about. If you are enthusiastic about your sketchbook and enjoying every minute spent in it, people (including kids) around you will pick up on that, and soon follow.

Have you ever drawn with a young artist by your side? Now that you have seen the many ways our students get others involved in drawing, grab your sketchbook and grab a friend or younger family member and get to work!

3 mins

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