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Anyone had experience of this?

(62 Posts)
teabagwoman Sun 12-Aug-18 08:14:27

My 4 year old DGD has never shown the slightest interest in drawing, colouring, painting or any other craft activity. At nursery, if they try to involve her in a craft activity, she says “no thank you” very politely and firmly and heads in the opposite direction. If there’s absolutely nothing else to do she will produce a few, very small squiggles with a pencil and that’s that. We’ve all tried to create plenty of opportunities but you can take a horse to water......... Has anyone else had experience of this? How did it turn out? Do I need to worry?l

Baggs Sun 12-Aug-18 08:17:28

I wouldn't worry. If she's still like this in a couple of years' time, then maybe it needs to be investigated. Meanwhile what's the harm in letting her do something she does enjoy? So long as she's playing happily, leave her alone.

Jane10 Sun 12-Aug-18 08:21:14

Yes, what is it that she does in preference to drawing? One of my DGSs is like that but he loves constructing things, cars and trains.

jusnoneed Sun 12-Aug-18 08:30:27

My youngest son was a bit like that, he had no interest in colouring books etc. He only did such stuff when he had to at school never at home where he could choose what to do. His older brother loved drawing.
They are the same with reading, eldest always has a book with him while youngest never reads one.

Greenfinch Sun 12-Aug-18 08:32:06

My grandson has always been like this. At the age of 11 he still finds it difficult to create anything on paper but give him some lego bricks and he is away. It hasn't been a problem for him except that his handwriting is still poor but even that is improving very slowly.I wouldn't worry.

Greyduster Sun 12-Aug-18 08:38:45

I could have written Greenfinch’s post word for word. Just keep an eye on her handwriting, though girls don’t seem to have the same difficulties with handwriting that boys do.

Luckygirl Sun 12-Aug-18 08:58:34

I can't imagine why anyone would want to worry about this at all. She's doing other things. I cannot think what harm it might do her.

As to colouring books - they are the work of the devil for little children. Firstly they cannot do it and have the disappointment of seeing that; and secondly they are better off doing free painting where they can make a big splash with colour just for the heck of it.

I get quite irritated (perhaps you can tell!) by this trend of feeding children down the same tube in an attempt to "push them on" - what for I ask myself?

Let her develop her own interests and talents and chuck the colouring pencils in the bin!

teabagwoman Sun 12-Aug-18 09:01:03

Jane10 she much prefers the role play activities. You can see her creating stories in her head and she gets quite irritated if another child disrupts her story line. She's never had any truck with leggo, building bricks, jigsaws etc. either. Makes her quite hard to keep occupied at times especially as her other love is being out and very active and I'm 72 and a bit arthritic.

teabagwoman Sun 12-Aug-18 09:04:59

Luckygirl, I'm certainly not trying to push her on and I agree with you about colouring books but, though having worked with a lot of children, I've never met one who had such a marked dislike and can't help wondering if it's indicative of problems ahead.

frankiedog Sun 12-Aug-18 09:13:37

Does your DGD ever see you or other adults doing any colouring or crafts ? I would buy myself a couple of colouring books and a packet of felt pens ,turn the TV off and just sit quietly at a table and do some myself. When DGD asks what you are doing , you could say " something that makes me happy/relaxed /calm/that I enjoy ". You could sit her on your lap, show her what you're doing and how good it makes you feel, and my guess is that she will want to join in at some point. Get her to help you with yours.
It could be that she is unsure what to do, how to hold a pencil, etc. Have some blank paper (preferably a A4 blank paged notebook that you can write her name on) and age appropriate colouring books handy,not on display,
"Perhaps you'd like to join me ?"
(Do not worry about how she holds pencil that first few times, that can come later )
Might take a few attempts, but my guess is that once she sees that it is a fun/relaxing pastime she will want to give it a go.
Just a suggestion.

Luckygirl Sun 12-Aug-18 09:21:25

I think you should just not worry about it. I am sure it is not indicative of problems ahead - I can't think what those problems might be. She will develop writing skills when she is ready.

I think that if people try and push her to do it when she clearly has no interest at this stage could in itself cause problems ahead.

I am all for children being real children and getting stuck into their own imagined world - time enough for formal skills. A whole lifetime in fact!!

I fully appreciate how hard it is to keep an active young person happy - I look after two of these creatures twice a week! Perhaps have lots of things like dressing-up stuff, spaces to make dens from the sofa cushions, tea sets etc.

Mine love going in our dilapidated summer house and creating a restaurant. They have old pans etc. and use the gravel from the drive and my flowers (!!) to make meals, and have pretend menus and jobs as waiters or cooks - they love it. Now and again I repair the drive!! The same summer house is also an aquarium apparently and I have to pay to go in and see the non-existent fish!

They also like joining on housework - especially the cobweb brush!

One likes crafty things, the other not at all. That's fine.

frankiedog Sun 12-Aug-18 09:24:16

Forgot to mention, colouring books, Agree to a point with other comments but I rip the pages out and let the child choose a sheet. The books are bulky and not practical.Similarly there are loads of sites for free colouring pages to print that you could choose together .

Grannybags Sun 12-Aug-18 09:41:33

My son would only use black paint. He would cover pages and pages, all black! He grew up to be "normal" but his handwriting is awful!

harrigran Sun 12-Aug-18 09:47:53

My DS never picked up a pencil before he started school, absolutely no interest in drawing. Did art at A level and acquired an A pass. DS's DD has been drawing recognisable shapes and figures since she was 18 months old. Everyone is individual in their development.

Eglantine21 Sun 12-Aug-18 10:02:02

I was an early years teacher and in my time I’ve experienced loads of children like this. I really wouldn’t worry or try to get her interested if she isn’t.

But if you want you could try markmaking/craft that’s linked to the imaginative play. The order pad with the cafe, making labels for seeds in the garden, making a map to hunt for treasure.

I had a little boy in one class who only wanted to do dressing up/ imaginative play. One day he was charging around with the policeman’s helmet going “There’s been a burglar.!” Well, I said make a list of all the things that are missing. And he picked up paper and a pencil.

My only worry would be the very formal curriculum that she will encounter in schools now. But that’s a whole other debate.......

baubles Sun 12-Aug-18 10:17:32

One of my grandchildren was just like this. She had zero interest in drawing but has a wonderful imagination and has always played with figures, building complex scenarios in her mind. Give her some Lego and she’s in heaven. However, she struggles to hold a pencil and her handwriting is not good. She’s going into 2nd year of Primary School and still has no inclination to draw, unlike her sibling who is quite arty.

Grammaretto Sun 12-Aug-18 13:21:11

Two of my DCs are left handed and we first noticed that life was a bit harder for them when DS1 started playgroup. The teacher said he was slow with things like shoelaces and
using scissors. He hated getting dirt on his hands too so messy play was out.
He was very bright and articulate so we didn't worry unduly. He is now a successful man, a great dad with many friends. His wife does all the housework however, and he doesn't do DIYblush.

Bridgeit Sun 12-Aug-18 13:24:36

Why would you worry,? she is 4 years old, plenty of time for plenty of changes.
If has she has access to all manner of educational items then she will find her own way
Also it has just occurred to me that she has picked up on your attempts to get her to do it & she is showing a strong will that she doesn’t want to / isn’t going to comply with her dear Gran.

OldMeg Sun 12-Aug-18 16:44:28

My GS wasn’t interested in art at all as a young pre-school child. He’s just lifted an Art Award at secondary school.

Nandalot Sun 12-Aug-18 17:40:33

My 7 year old DGS was like this unlike his twin sister. He loves cars, car parks and maps etc. So we got him drawing those. He will now choose to draw sometimes of his own volition though his repertoire is limited! His writing skills are still poor but improving.
Can you build on her interests in this way.

Nandalot Sun 12-Aug-18 17:41:33

Sorry about incorrect punctuation in above. Said DGS was trying to be nosey and read what I was typing, which I obviously did not want him to do!

Jalima1108 Sun 12-Aug-18 18:06:10

DD used to ask me to 'do some craft please' with DGS - I don't know who got more bored, him or me.

I did try though, and used to ask him to show me what I was meant to be doing and he used to enjoy doing that for a while 'Look, you do it this way Gran'!

BlueBelle Sun 12-Aug-18 18:12:00

Goodness me don’t get your knickers in a twist about this all kids are different thankfully Let her go down whatever route she wants, there is no right or wrongs
Why get them to draw some are never without a pencil others never pick one up why should that be a problem
She ll find her levels and her loves
I was an avid reader, in the loo, under the sheets, every waking minute I have seven grandkids all can read perfectly well but not one enjoys reading a book 😢

Jalima1108 Sun 12-Aug-18 18:14:45

Perhaps she just doesn't like getting messy with paint and glue.

JackyB Sun 12-Aug-18 18:32:39

I hated drawing and painting. Still do. My leaning was towards music. Sounds like your in DGD is either into acting or fashion. Try her with simple sewing activities, making clothes for dolls or teddies, or a threading a pretty bracelet or making something she can wear herself.

She may be interested in gardening, or, if, as someone has said, she doesn't, like getting messy, and is possibly frustrated with her drawing attempts, show her how to use a ruler and make neat squares and patterns. I once spent a whole rainy week at my Aunt's doing that when I was about 7.