Nearly 4 yo won't draw or colour in

(19 Posts)
Robotindisguise Thu 27-Jun-13 06:50:23

My DD is a summer born (3 years 10 months) and I never really worried about that because she always hit her learning milestones early (although her physical ones not so much). She's about to start reception. All her friends at nursery and even the younger children of friends seem to be able to draw early approximations of people and are getting better and better at colouring in.

DD is not. She can draw a person if you sit with her and talk her through each stage of it - but just scribbles if you leave her to it (which I do, most of the time because I don't want to pressure her) and just scribbles on her colouring in books. When you remind her she's supposed to stay inside the lines she has a go but can't really do it. She doesn't really show much desire to use appropriate colours either and I don't think that's creativity - she just doesn't seem to "see" that she's colouring in a flower or whatever, she just grabs the nearest felt tip.

I wouldn't be worrying so much if I knew at least one other child of her age who was doing the same thing! Anyone able to reassure me?

exoticfruits Thu 27-Jun-13 07:15:10

She is very little- I doubt she can see the point. DS1 wouldn't because he is very precise, when he eventually drew something it was factually very accurate. He used to say 'I don't draw, I scribble'- other children were happy to scribble and say it was a horse- not him! I can't see much point in talking her through it- she will do it when she is ready.The reception teacher would much rather she can dress herself, hang a coat up, listen to instructions etc.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Jun-13 07:16:44

I can't remember him ever wanting to colour in and not many under 4yr olds are going to be able to do it.

Rosa Thu 27-Jun-13 07:22:16

My dd is 4.5 and has in the last 3-4 months started doing actual objects ... 2 circles sticks and stick fingers etc. for a person, she is now starting to colour within the lines. She will copy a simple cat or rabbit ( that is about my drawing limit) and some things scribbles when she describes to me are pretty "interesting". Sounds to me as you are doing the right thing ..relaxed approach and when she does it she will...

TwasBrillig Thu 27-Jun-13 07:45:46

She is very little, and you really can't expect the same of her as someone who starts reception at nearly 5.

As an aside I've not particularly ever emphasised colouring in the lines. I'd rather they felt free to experiment, see what happens if they scribble with black all over the picture etc. I've had to restrain myself from 'helping' but they won't know what a completely black picture looks like until they do it (whereas we might see them as 'ruining' a pretty picture, they are still very much experimenting).

Access to a range of mark making -water and brushes on a fence /pavement, crayons, chalk, lines in sand, have you got an aquadraw? They encourage lots of drawing that disappears so no worries if its scribbles.

Overall I'd stop trying to encourage anything specific and encourage free drawing, scribbling etc so they can learn themselves to enjoy colour or pictures in their own time.

Robotindisguise Thu 27-Jun-13 11:01:09

For some reason she's utterly taken against the Aquadraw, and it ended up in the loft. I could get it down though - enough time has passed I think.

Thanks all, for the suggestions and reassurance. It's good to know your DD has just started drawing objects at 4.5 Rosa - and exoticfruits I do think there's an element of "if I can't do it properly I won't do it at all" going on. At one stage she stopped scribbling altogether - I think after looking at what the nearly-5 year olds could do - but found her mojo again over half term.

TwoTearsInABucket Thu 27-Jun-13 11:10:15

DD, turning 4 on Saturday, can draw people, but probably only with guidance. She's not really a drawing person. She also doesn't know all of the alphabet and is not very good at writing over someone else's writing.
She hardly ever comes out of nursery with art work like lots of other children. I guess she is just not that interested in it.
But she has other strengths - she has good balance, she is very sociable and seems to have excellent comprehension. She is also very good at pretend play.

I don't really force her to do stuff at home, sometimes we'll get the crayons out etc. but I guess she will get it over time and when she starts school I will obviously support her.

NeverendingStoryteller Thu 27-Jun-13 14:35:05

DS7 still hates craft activities, and has only just reached the stage where he can sit down for long enough to be bothered with colouring in and drawing. Some kids just don't get it, and some just don't like it. At that age, if she doesn't have the interest, it will feel like a chore. I'm quite partial to a rainy afternoon of drawing and colouring in, so felt a bit bereft when my LO just wasn't interested.

But, cooking, well, there's something will do without any moaning or squabbles!

Smartieaddict Thu 27-Jun-13 14:42:39

I have another one who just wan't interested in drawing. It was only really when he started reception, that he starting doing any meaningful drawing, and he is one of the oldest in his year. He is just not that interested in drawing. He has picked up writing no problem at a all though, as he seems to find that interesting. I would not worry at all if I were you!

mrsyattering Thu 27-Jun-13 14:47:16

Kids are all different dd could draw great people at 3, would come out of nursery every day with all sorts of art. Ds is 4 hates colouring will only use blue pencils and will always draw a circle with two lines coming from it and an eye or two. I've had only 3 drawings from nursery this past year.

neon9 Thu 27-Jun-13 20:40:00

Wouldn't worry. My little one was not at all interested in writing or drawing before he started school. He did scribble on the walls though. But he's come on leaps and bounds since September, the school environment just got him interested in doing that stuff.
Older son had issues with hand grip and the school did little sessions in year 1 for the kids who struggled a bit.
Reception is mainly play anyway.

She's only little!! Just leave pens and paper for her and leave her to come to it if she wants to. But do not force it.

ConstantCraving Thu 27-Jun-13 21:07:00

DD 3.5 is the same, just scribbles and only in dark blue for some reason! She likes me to draw for her, or for me to colour things in but refuses to do it herself. She can draw a circle but has never even tried to draw a person. My DS was the opposite, they're all different.

nextphase Thu 27-Jun-13 21:20:18

4y2mth here, and also starting reception in Sept.
Won't draw anything. All scribbles - tho we have had a fire engine (red scribbles, with blue for the water coming out of the hose!)
I've got a thread on here from a few months ago, and Mrz had loads of ideas on ways to encourage the muscle development to allow them to draw / colour when they are ready. There were also lots of people saying don't worry, their kids were the same.

Didn't stop me freaking out yesterday evening when I was at a intro to the school for parents evening, and there were pens and lined paper out with a suggestion the kids wrote a sentence about the display shock I guess my LO has some developing to do in the next 12 months!

ChunkyPickle Thu 27-Jun-13 21:29:11

I think that some kids just don't like it - DS, almost 3 similarly refuses to do any drawing (although he'll scribble/trace letters/do flood-fill colouring on the ipad, or make me draw things). He's uninterested in any other craft activities, although he'll occasionally daub lines of paint on an easel.

My nephew in contrast knows exactly how to handle a crayon and gluestick, despite being a good few months younger.

I don't have any concerns really though, because he has other interests that he's way ahead in. Just give her a while, she's still very little.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 27-Jun-13 23:28:42

I could have written this. My summer born DD was the same. She "got it" when she was in year one. She's 8 now and the most amazing artist.

Doitnicelyplease Sat 29-Jun-13 13:25:53

I would say don't worry, she sounds completely normal for her age. My DD1 only started trying to do neat (ish) colouring in around 4.5, my DD1 does like to draw and paint though.

If she doesn't really like these things, do some other activities that encourage fine motor skills and will help with holding a pencil later: pop beads, building with lego or duplo, dressing a doll or playing with any slightly fiddly toy.

Pancakeflipper Sat 29-Jun-13 13:45:59

My 4yr 9month old has only just started to pick up pencils and painting.
He would sometimes glue bits to paper but rarely. Is now into glueing empty boxes etc.

Won't go near and craft tables at nursery so the staff make my Mothers Day card.
And will not put his hands into paint to do hand prints.

He has always been a Play Doh fan and plasticine.

Claennister Sat 29-Jun-13 18:39:56

My daughter is nearly 7 and I'd describe her exactly the same way! 4 is far too small to be worried.

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