How do you get kids interested in their own Art?

We got the report cards the other day for the little monsters and it wasn’t pretty in some areas.  The oldest monster likes to do craft projects with me but even I noticed that he lacks originality and quickly loses interest.  His art teacher commented that doesn’t stay on task or finish projects.

I understand that art is not for everyone, I have a sister that struggles to draw stick people.  But in the 2nd grade I seriously doubt that they grade based on skill level.  I would like to teach him how to finish what you start and maybe the importance of trying you hardest even if you aren’t great at it.  He seems to do well in music and gym but those are the classes that he gets to be loud and run around in.

The other day he caught me in my art area playing around with that blank canvas.  He sat by me for awhile and watched me apply brown paint to the canvas board.  Some time passed before he asked me what I was doing.  I told him that I was making something for his dad for Valentine’s Day, I added that it was a secret and not to tell him.  He wanted to help but I know how that would go and yes I am a perfectionist.  So instead I offered to let him do his own, I thought about even letting him use some canvas board but I went with just canvas paper instead, it’s still expensive but not as bad.  I somehow knew how this was going to end.

We got our painting shirts on and I set up the kids table with brushes and paint, of course he needed brown paint like what I was using.  He was a little upset when I told him I was about out of that color.  How dare I use it all up?  I told them that I was just giving them one piece of paper.  Little monster just doodled a little and wanted more paper but I told him no.  The oldest struggled with it because the paper was different and harder to cover.  I knew he didn’t know what Canvas paper was but he had wanted to use exactly what I had.

Then just as quickly as it had started it was over.  I think it had taken me longer to set up the area than it took him to paint his picture.  The end product looked unfinished to me so I can see where the art teacher might think he doesn’t finish his work.  We left it down there to dry.

I am still working on mine, which there is more to it than he saw so when he found me down there again tonight tweaking it again he wanted to so the exact same thing to his artwork.  I told him that he couldn’t use the paint that I had mixed for mine, which is what he wanted.  I offered to let him mix his own but he quickly changed his mind again and sat down to watch TV instead.

He is also one of those kids that does not color inside the lines.  I know it comes down to patience.  I also introduced him to tracing paper because I got sick of drawing everything for him out of the drawing books that I have.  We have also tried model kits but he gets so excited that his little fingers start shaking and again I end up putting the whole thing together myself with him hovering over my shoulder.

So if you guys have any suggestions leave them in a comment or e-mail them to me at


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