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Fostering Creativity in Toddlers - Encouraging Drawing!

Toddler writing centre at How we Montessori scribbling is communication

We often think about developing fine motor skills in order to prepare the hand for writing. But what about preparing the hand for drawing, isn't that just as important? Drawings are communication, they are expression, they are meaningful, they assist in developing individuality and creativity. We mustn't think that writing is always the end goal, drawing and creating is pretty important too. And guess what, your toddler can already do it!

Fostering creativity through drawing is always a priority for our toddler. Because toddlers can't always tell us what they want, they don't always know they want to draw unless the opportunity presents it's self. I can see how daily drawing is improving his coordination and hand control and it's been fantastic for his concentration and focus. Drawing rather than painting is so, so easy to have available.

Here are a few ways we are fostering creativity and encouraging drawing with our toddler (at 27 months):

  • We have created a writing or 'mark marking' station so there are always pencils, crayons, paper and space available to draw, this could be as little as a small tin of crayons and a notepad.
  • We provide drawing prompts, I love the idea of adding a photograph, especially one that the child relates to/remembers or that is of them and/or family, to a floor book or large paper. 
  • We rotate drawing materials, we rotate crayon blocks, crayon sticks, crayon pencils, chalk, oil pastels, paint sticks and charcoal. There is always one type of crayon pencils available. 
  • We provide lots of paper, I prefer sketch books or floor  books as we don't waste as much paper (compared to loose sheets), the paper stays together (not sprawled across the room) and it's easier to add to old drawings and use the backs of pages.
  • We encourage group, sibling or family drawing time. My toddler loves it when his older brothers draw at the table with him.
  • We encourage drawing in the evenings, often drawing after a bath as a way to unwind, as a way to express themselves and calm down, drawing can be a calming and de-stressing experience.
  • We listen to music and 'dance' the crayons on the paper.
  • We use a clip board and draw outside! This has been difficult lately due to the rain but it's lovely on a dry day. 

Drawing prompts and journalling for toddlers at How we Montessori Otto 27 months

Above is a drawing prompt in Otto's floor book. It's a fun photograph of him and Caspar on a ride at a fair. I can see that Otto has chosen to use orange, blue and green in his drawing which are dominant in the photograph.

Toddler oil pastels at How we Montessori

Oil pastels. 

Toddler oil pastels at How we Montessori


Toddler oil pastels at How we Montessori

Resources: A3 landscape floor book, beeswax crayon sticks, oil pastels, artist charcoal.

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