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DS2 aged 3 1/2 will not draw or hold a pen

(18 Posts)
philopastry Tue 23-Jun-09 09:30:26

DS2 is a lovely little boy, very chatty, great physically, sociable etc, seems bright enough to me but for some reason he will not draw at all. He can just about do a circle but has never attempted a face or anything else recognisable. It is hard going to even persuade him to hold a crayon and mark a piece of paper. If he does he just scribbles all over it as quickly as possible as if to get the task over and done with. He quite likes glue-ing but seems to have taken against all things pen/pencil/crayon like. How can I help him without pressurising him to just have a little go at drawing? Or does it not matter? Anyone else's kids similar age and similarly disinclined to
p-p-pick up a pencil?!

paranoidmother Tue 23-Jun-09 09:38:10

haven't had this problem but did wonder whether getting some of those paint pens might help or perhaps having something to paint on like a t-shirt or piggy bank or something like that might encourage him.

oliverboliverbutt Tue 23-Jun-09 09:40:37

it doesn't matter at this age and if you push it too much, you could have real problems later.

Just try and make any activities involving a pen or pencil fun and stop when he becomes frustrated or bored.

Eventually he will WANT to draw & write and you will thank your lucky stars you didn't 'make' him do stuff too early.

jeee Tue 23-Jun-09 09:41:01

My first 2 were quite slow, and I think with the benefit of hindsight it's because they are both ambidextrous (although slightly to the left of this). My next 2 have been much earlier, but are both aggressively right handed.

asteamedpoater Tue 23-Jun-09 13:27:16

My ds1 hated using pens, pencils, doing playdough, etc. Oddly enough, though, despite actually having a physical reason for being turned off from this (he's very hypermobile and has low tone, so found applying sufficient pressure on the page to actually make a mark with crayons and pencils extremely hard work), he can write extremely well for his age. He's still not keen, and doesn't do much in the way of drawing and colouring, because his hand tires quickly, but his co-ordination is actually quite good, despite the lack of practice and enthusiasm. Nothing I have ever done has ever increased his enthusiasm for pen work, I'm afraid. At 3 and a half, I would have thought encouraging other activities involving hand strengthening and co-ordination would be sufficient, though, in order to develop his skills for future writing - eg playing with playdough, threading beads, writing with chalks on a blackboard, picking things up with tweezers, scooping things in the sandpit, pouring things, stirring food while helping with cooking, cutting out with scissors, doing up buttons and zips, etc, etc. An interest in pens and pencils will hopefully come later. Possibly much later!!!

LadyOfWaffle Tue 23-Jun-09 13:30:01

DS isn't too keen on drawing either. Sometimes he pesters me for crayons then draws on the floor , but other than that he is just car mad. I think their intrests can vary so much, he may be really into drawing/colouring later on

philopastry Tue 23-Jun-09 13:54:50

thanks everyone, this is putting my mind at rest, I definitely don't want to make it an issue with him and completely turn him off drawing....the ideas from you asteamedpoater are really useful for other ways of working those hands and fingers are great.
My DS1 always loved drawing at this age (about 500 Thomas trains a day as I recall!) and I iknow you're not meant to compare but it's hard not to sometimes.
Will chill out and let the poor kid be!

BlueberryPancake Tue 23-Jun-09 16:38:42

What works with DS is a bucket of water (we call it 'paint') and big brushes and he 'paints' the house, the pavement, etc. Big big chalks that you can write on pavements with are very good, and I encourage him to do stuff with his fingers like digging in soil, decorate cake (not in that order) and do finger painting. He loves threading beeds. He loves to 'write' on a whiteboard. But he just like yours he won't draw on paper at all. His 2 yo brother is better than DS1 who is 3.5.

singersgirl Tue 23-Jun-09 16:50:47

DS2 had no interest in it either and never drew pictures - preschool made him do some early writing (name and a few numbers), but he never did it voluntarily. He loved Duplo/Lego, Play-Doh, whisking soapy water etc, which are all good for building up hand muscles.

His writing has never been particularly good, but now, at nearly 8, it's absolutely fine. He still doesn't really like writing much and will often do the bare minimum, but it's legible and it's there.

screamingabdab Tue 23-Jun-09 18:20:18

My DS1 never had interest in drawing at this age, and then when he started school he just went mad for it!

Don't worry

philopastry Tue 23-Jun-09 20:45:22

Ok, I won't
He does spend hours digging in the soil, loves making sandcastles, doing up buttons, and yes painting outdoors with water is always a hit...will get him on the playdough and lego a bit more though, and maybe do a bit of finger painting (shudder!) now it is sunny enough to go outside and do it.
Thanks for all the ideas and reassurance.

BottySpottom Tue 23-Jun-09 23:17:43

I think it's fine so long as you make sure he is using his fingers and hands for plenty of other things to build up muscle control (lego, playdough, stirring things etc etc).

DC2 was like this until 9 months ago and didn't have confidence because he could see other children were more able. Now, coming to the end of reception and nearly 6, he is often asking for a pencil at home and writes and draws from choice.

BottySpottom Tue 23-Jun-09 23:18:20

Sorry, should have read the other messages first, rather than repeating what they seem to have said!

slowreadingprogress Tue 23-Jun-09 23:36:56

agree with asteamed - good ideas. My ds also has hypermobility meaning that writing/drawing are extremely hard.

I would just say be aware this condition exists (it's just increased flexibility in joints) because I would keep an eye on your ds. Our paediatrician said that often children totally avoid tasks they can't do - so avoidance CAN be a sypmtom in itself.

Obviously time will tell and he may just come to it all later and there may be no underlying reason like there is with my ds but I just think it's worth keeping it in the back of your mind!

VictorVictoria Wed 24-Jun-09 08:37:06

slowreading progress - my Ds (just 4) also has hypermobility and it vvvvv reluctant to write/draw. Is there anything you are doing to help him wither at school/outside schhol? Ot?

slowreadingprogress Wed 24-Jun-09 13:33:42

hi victor. OT should be happening - we've been waiting a year! But we haven't relied on the non existent OT provision, we have concentrated on things that help with his gross motor skills (mainly swimming and trampolining) as we were told that strenthen those, and the fine motor skills must follow, really. It's about them gaining the gross motor skills then focussing those down.

Swimming and trampolining were very easy to get ds doing, as well - he loves those things.

Other than that, lots of play-do play and ANY craft activity that grabs him (beedeez have been popular, martian maker, anything really)

We haven't done anything else tbh, as I feel pressure is counter productive and making ds write/draw would just erode his self esteem imo.

He's now 7 and has made lots of progress - I hope the same will happen for your ds victor. I do think between 4 and 7 you will see lots of progress. Good luck!

weblette Wed 24-Jun-09 14:07:04

Ds2 didn't have any physical reason for his reluctance to draw, he just didn't want to.

He started Reception in January and has taken a bit of time to catch up but now has a lovely grip and clear writing.

We were advised to go for fine-motor promoting things like plasticine, Hama beads (over my dead body...) Lego.

So don't worry, he'll get there and by not forcing it, probably a lot sooner than you think!

pigswithfludontfly Thu 25-Jun-09 14:50:12

My ds was the same until very, very recently - maybe just the last month.

He was nagged by the MIL to hold his pencil properly too many times and also I think he really wanted things to come out on the paper properly and couldn't understand why it didn't look the way it should.

Anyway I literally didn't mention it for a couple of months, no suggesting, no coercion nothing. Eventually he has decided he does like drawing after all and although I wouldn't say it's his favourite thing to do he does do it of his own accord.
So my advice, like others on here, is to just leave it altogether for a few months and if you want to focus on other things to work on fine motor skills.

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