Can you show me your four year old's drawing/colouring/na
I have a ds just turned four. I'm wondering if he is within the "normal" range as he seems a bit delayed to me (in writing/drawing)
He is nowhere near ready to write his name, can't trace over letters unless they're huge, doesn't colour in and draws potatoes with arms and a face for people. Can anybody show me or tell me what their little angel's up to? Thanks
Don't compare. There is a massive normal range and the average boy is behind the average girl.
At 4, ds2 would do a scribble if asked to draw a person and his writing was close to illegible. At 4, dd could produce a scene with grass, trees, butterflies and sky, with "this is my garden" underneath.
Ds2 is still no artist, but his overall development is fine
Thank you Jaffacakes, I know really that it's not a good idea to compare children and generally I have no concerns about his development, it's just this area is bothering me and he seems quite lazy with it, so just wondered if my expectations were too high.
I'm not artistic and my handwriting's awful! I hope he doesn't take after me!
My ds is 4.5 and not yet in school. He can do S and X very messily, some numbers only just beginning to trace dotted lines when in magazines but very messy. Only recently have his drawings been vaguely recognisable as having arms and legs.
I have no concerns.
No, I can't! I have a 3.5 year old and we are nowhere NEAR being able to write names, trace over letters, etc. He can only just scribble and can't really hold a pen/pencil properly even with lots of prompting and help. Very keen to make marks but no co-ordination yet. I would be amazed if he drew a potato with arms and a face!
Sounds like my just 4 dd. I wouldn't worry one jot.
DS was 4 in August. His mark making is not at the level of potato people yet, mainly circular or spiky scribbling. No writing at all yet. His grip is either holding pen in fist (like a stabby grip) or occasionally I've seen him holding the very end of the pen - neither is conducive to fine control. He seems to pick up pens with whatever hand is nearest, no obvious preference yet.
Talking to teachers, rather than focus on writing they first build up finger strength/correct grip - so play doh, threading stuff (like beads onto big bootlaces), drawing big shapes in sand, and so on. I suspect a lot of boys are less encouraged to do the sort of craft work that helps build up that sort of dexterity.
You don't say if your DS is in school yet, but if so would suggest chatting with teachers.
I am not sure but aren't potato people more of a developmental stage in drawing rather than a skill thing? I.e. just stage that all kids pass through? Would be interesting if any early years experts could confirm.
Ok thank you, I do feel a bit better that he's in good company, I suppose a lot of the kids we're friends with are girls which makes a difference.
Have your kids generally established a hand preference by now?
I have a just turned 4 year old too. He can write his name, numbers 1-10 and about half the letters in the alphabet. He has an older brother so has grown up watching him do his homework at the kitchen table!
He sounds similar to my dd, who was 4 in May and is in Reception.
I love the potato people. Had a clear out yesterday and came across a while stack of drawings I'd saved
OP don't compare. DS1 was so far behind his cousin in writing and drawing and there is only 3 months between them. He's 11 now and all's well!
PP's advice on developing fine motor skills is good.
My girl is 4. She can write mommy and daddy and her own name, but very messily. She can draw pictures of flowers and faces with barely recognisable features. I wouldn't worry at all about it. I'm sure if you look it up somewhere it's typical for kids to draw huge faces with tiny arms and legs poking out.
My DS2 is 4.5 and I can't show you his drawing/writing because he point blank refuses to pick up a pencil. Perfectly able is every other respect but just not interested in this. So your DS's potato people are a much better start!
DS1 was similar and got going with his writing at school. It's now okay-ish, and he'all never be the worlds best artist, but school seem happy enough with him.
Please remember that until children have enough muscle strength in their arms and shoulders they cannot begin to master fine motor skills like pencil control. A lot of schools now have programs like dough gym, where playdough is used to strengthen muscles, or sweeping with child sized brooms (yes really!)
You could also get him writing really big shapes in the air with a finger, or on large pieces of paper with a crayon, or on the floor outside with a paintbrush and water. All of this will help him be ready to start writing at a later date.
Sounds normal, you cam support him in this area with physical play particularly with throwing bean bags/balls to develop arm strength, activities that require him to use his pincer grip like sorting small things in to different dishes/categories, also lots of balancing, walking along low walls and anything he can balance on at the park, children who have good balance tend to develop better skills in mark making.
And I second the playdough idea too, it's easy to make at home and great for building finger and arm muscles and coordination.
Potato people are definitely a development stage - a separate body gets added at a later age.
Look up the 'Draw a person' test (DAP test) for more info. Take with a pinch of salt though: today my almost-4-year-old DD drew a potato person (me) with a dot between the legs and said 'that's your tiny bottom'. Pretty sure that doesn't fall into the DAP test...
DD started colouring in the lines when we started commenting things like 'oh, you've coloured that really nicely inside the lines' (at the merest hint of control) instead of always saying how lovely every scribble was...I don't think she realised that colouring inside the lines was the idea!
Lots of good ideas on strengthening muscles above. Any kind of mark-making is good: chalk on the pavement, water-painting the fence, crayons, pens, pencils, 'scribbler' toy. Keep mixing it up and making different things available. Any difference between boys and girls is inclination rather than any kind of innate ability - they all need lots of practice so the trick is figuring out how to interest them.
Loads of good ideas, thank you. Will definitely get his eyes tested too.
Laughing at the potato person's tiny bottom
Dd turned 4 last month and is just starting to write her name. She's very good at drawing though. DS when he was 4 could only scribble- his drawings didn't resemble what they were meant to look like. He caught up in time though, they just do things at different times!
My 4-year-old-tomorrow can draw a circle with 2 dots for eyes and a curve mouth for a face and can do a wobbly X. No other recognisable letters/objects. He has no interest in colouring/drawing despite abundant paper/pen/chalk/paint. His brothers were v similar. One has just gone to grammar school, the other is v top end of year 4 academically. They both have ubtidy but legible handwriting and are not terribly artistic but both read early and are academic and one more sporty the other more musical. I think poorish early fine motor control runs in our family and it puts them off doing more when they are young because they want to produce something recognisable. But no long term issues.
DD was definitely doing potato people at age 4. Very creepy ones too - she said they were zombies/ghosts! She could write her name but the letters wouldn't necessarily be in the correct order, she thought so long as they were all on the page that was good enough.
Definitely agree with doing lots of other activities to help improve muscle strength and motor skills - climbing trees/climbing frames is one that really helps and 4 year olds love it.
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