My son is 3 years old and seems not to have any interest in art.

Courtni - posted on 03/26/2012 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have any ideas about how I can get him into things like coloring, finger painting Etc. He can't stand having dirty hands so he seems to lose interest if I have to clean his hands.

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Medic - posted on 03/26/2012

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He is 3....why push it? My 5 year old HATES art. He is disgraphic so having to use his hands like that is hard for him. He is AMAZING on the computer though. My 2 year old daughter LOVES art and can color all day long. Why push our kids to do something they are not interested in?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/26/2012

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What most parents don't understand is this: Just because you loved a particular sport, or subject, or activity most definitely does NOT mean that your kids are automatically wired that way!



I'm a musician, from a musical family. We could sing as soon as we could talk, and by the time my youngest brother was 5, we were performing on a regular basis as a family quartet. I couldn't WAIT until I had kids to sing to, and with. To be able to teach them the wonder that is music.



My hopes were dashed! Dashed, I tell you! My eldest tried school choir, to make me happy. I was, he wasn't, and it was showing in his behavior, so I reluctantly let him stop. My younger didn't show any interest, so I didn't push. And then, lo and behold, he asked me if he could play an instrument! I immediately had visions: My son, the Drum Major of his high school band, I was SO proud! Needless to say...he picked orchestra, and cello. Well, I am not a string musician, but hey, it's music, and he likes it.



The moral of my story? Don't push your kids. They'll discover their own interests. It MAY be in something you love, but then again, it may not.



Besides that, at 3, their attention span isn't huge either...so they move between toys/subjects a lot.

Caren1±JaA - posted on 03/27/2012

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Kids do need to learn to work with crayons by the time they are age 5. They have to do it in kindergarten and the better a child can color, cut, etc. teachers seems to think these things are linked to the development of their fine and gross motor skills. The things is when they are little to let them create.



On another note, my oldest son use to love to dig in the dirt when he was 3 but would come back every 5 minutes for me to wash his hands for him because they were dirty!! :) It is likely just a stage. The same son always like to create things with blank paper, but never liked coloring books. He hated being told what he had to color and to color inside the lines. He just liked creating stuff. It also translated over to his Hot Wheeels tracks. They rarely stayed together the way they were on the box for more than a couple weeks, when he decided they would be better attached onto his other sets. He would make elaborate cities and challenge the laws of physics at times. My point. You can be creative without crayons and paints.

Donna - posted on 03/26/2012

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Why is it so important that he do these things. Let him play with stuff he likes. Each child is unique. If he doesn't like to get dirty try one of those books that you paint with water and the color appears. Don't push the issue.

Lorrie - posted on 03/27/2012

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I love Krista's idea with the sandwich bag. Going to write that one down for my Mommy and Me class. As for ur son, he just may never be into art. My son has never liked anything to do with crafts or art. I myself love it so at first it killed me that he didn't. Ur son might have a passion for something else and thats ok too. My son found sports at age 5. Now at age 11 he has been on both baseball and basketball All Star Teams every year since. Don't worry. He will chose his own likes and dis-likes. Alot of boys aren't into art. Try large legos. Who knows, maybe one day he might become an arcutec (sp.?)

Lorrie

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Robin - posted on 03/29/2012

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I wouldn't be concerned he doesn't like to draw or color right now. It is all developmentaI. I do know he will color and draw when he is ready. As an educator it jumped out at me he doesn't like his hands being dirty and they have to be cleaned. I would pay attention to this and textures of things. Do certain textures not feel good to him? He could have sensory issues that cause him not to want to do or feel certain things. He may not want to finger paint even with gloves on because he doesn't like the feel of it. Just a suggestion.

Amanda - posted on 03/29/2012

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He might like Dot Art markers because his hands don't need to get messy but they are still bright and colorful like paints. My daughter loves them! He could also dip toy cars or other objects in the paint instead of his fingers and paint with them. He also might like making a gel bag where all the ooey gooey gel is contained inside a plastic bag. Here is a link to this project:

http://excited2learn.com/blog/ooey-goooe...



Hope these ideas are helpful - Amanda

Theresa - posted on 03/27/2012

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My son is very similar. I think its more to do with how things feel on his hands than anything. I do not want to offend you but I think in my situation I have created my own little finicky kid. (because I dont like dirt) He doesnt like the feel of food around his mouth and has trouble licking it off for himself if isnt cleaned off. he doesnt use his hands to eat anything unless its dry and easy... If your son is similar then you may have to work on desensatizing him. I have had some success and he is improving... And it has helped him explore more with art work as well...Hope this helps.

September - posted on 03/27/2012

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Maybe he's just not into art. Are there other things he enjoys doing? Like play outside, going for walks, reading? Not all kids like art and just because it's something you enjoy does not make it a given for him. I would focus more on what he is interested in and not worry so much about the art.

Courtni - posted on 03/27/2012

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He's starting preschool next week so hopefully he'll get busy with all the other kids.

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2012

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maybe try clean painting with water in the garden, he might like it as he wont get dirty :)

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2012

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does he do everything else for his age??? it still might b worth having a word with yr health visitor. or maybe his playschool/nursey teacher x

Heather - posted on 03/27/2012

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My son also did not like to get his hands dirty so finger painting did not work for him. He is 5 and still does not really like to finger paint. We still paint though. I just got him some really big paint brushes and has a great time with them. I also do not make him draw or paint anything in particular, he can just scribble if he likes. I have never been able to get him to color for more than a couple of min. Just loses interest but he does like to write. He has a large dry erase board book thing. It has letters and numbers and shapes he can trace, as well as a place to write and draw. Not messy and he really enjoys using it in the car.

One are project he enjoys for painting is golf ball painting. lightly tape a piece of paper into a shoe box, squirt a few different colored piles of paint on the paper and toss in a couple golf balls. Your child will have fun holding onto the outside of the box and making the balls roll around inside. The balls will make the design. My son also enjoys painting with different objects, rolling cars with different treads on them through paint and then driving them on the paper was one of his favorites, can also use shaped sponges, stamps, those little mini porcupine like balls make great designs as well. pretty much anything you can think of to dip in the paint and then dab on paper works.

Thats just a couple of things that we do but their is so much more you can do and lots of different kinds of art.

Courtni - posted on 03/27/2012

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Amanda he won't have anything on his hands. He got chocolate on his hands about an hour ago and had a fit. lol He will just have to find his way i guess.

Amanda - posted on 03/27/2012

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have u tried aqua draw? or another idea for when in the garden - a paint brush and water and he can paint the walls, floor, fences etc. dont know where u live (im in the uk) but u can get chucky garden/pavement chalks that come with a chalk handle holder so u dont get dirty hands, these r great for the garden cause they can just b scrubbed of with soap and water or if u got an old walk or fence u can leave there art work there.



does he just not like getting his hands dirty at any point i.e dinner time, sand play, gardening etc or is it just art. does he like to help in the kitchen with cooking?? but if he's doesnt like getting his hands dirty i wouldn't push him, there will come a time when he wants to. if u got a good health visitor it might b worth having a chat with them.

Groovy Girl - posted on 03/27/2012

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Hi courtni,

Sounds like some of these ladies have some good tips. I am an avid reader. I have two boys 11 and 8. Unfortunately they both do not take ANY pleasure in reading. They both know how to but I have to really push them to do it for school. I would never push them to read for pleasure because I know it's just not their idea of fun. However, it is necessary for me to push them to do it for homework etc. So, I guess your lucky that way because while art is important I think we know reading is huge. Just try a bunch of different things with him. I had to learn all about sports because that is what my guys love. LoL. Good thing my hubby has a clue about hockey because I surely do not. Good luck

Zodwa - posted on 03/27/2012

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he needs to be around other children....let him play with children a yr or two yrs older than him....they will show him that having dirty hands...colouring is all part of having fun and discovering your senses.....as soon as he gets it, he will not mind doing it with u...

Kerrie - posted on 03/26/2012

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Have you tried the color wonder finger paints? They are clear, but still wet, and they don't show the color until on the paper.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/26/2012

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Just do things that he likes instead of forcing him to do something that bothers him. It is not a big deal if he never paints or colors.

Caren1±JaA - posted on 03/26/2012

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I use to do bubble art with my kids. they loved putting their hands in the water and swooshing it around to make bubbles. You use the dish liquid to do this and he can keep his hands clean while he is doing it. He can watch you add the food coloring the first time, then he might want to try as well. Get some nice thick paper lay it on top of the bubbles. lift it off and then when it dries you have a premade art picture. Try him with some glitter pens as well and glittter glue art. He can squeeze the tubes without touching the glue, make designs like he is decorating a cake, and then he can smoosh another piece pf paper over the top and make 2 pictures at the same time. How about making a cake, giving him lots of sprinkles and let him do all the decorating or cupcakes and let him decorate each one differently. Make a special one for daddy, for mommy, etc. Let him lick the bowl after you are done and teach him that being creative can also be really yummy!

Elizabeth - posted on 03/26/2012

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Have you tried the Color Wonder markers and paints by Crayola...they are no mess. That is how a got my oldest into coloring, she didn't like messes either.

Annmari - posted on 03/26/2012

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I hear where you're coming from, as an artistic type too, I can understand your wanting to pass that to your son. Another good thing to get into with him is music and dancing, I dont even mean lessons, just getting some music on that he likes, be it kiddie stuff, pop, or classical, jazz, even songs in other languages, I believe that listening to something that's completely out of your experience stimulates your imagination, gets your creative juices flowing, and gets you interested in new things (I love playing Piaf in our house recently, my older two kids think I'm mad as they've never heard anything like it, but as they get used to it they will think it less and less stupid, and one day they will look back on it fondly and realise that they dont only like the pop music they listen to). Best is to use all the types of music so he gets exposure to a variety of music and he's more likely to discover something there that really lights him up. Get dancing and singing together in the lounge, or wherever is good for you to hang out...You know what they say about music being good for developing intelligence in areas like math and language too... :)

Courtni - posted on 03/26/2012

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Glad my son is not the only one. For all those who asked, I grew up with art, so everything I ask him to do I do with him. I enjoy it, so doing these things with him is fun for me. He knows how to do everything because we have taken the time to sit with him and show him how to do everything. I guess he's just like the others and will either get into it, or not. Thanks for all of the ideas and opinions.

Sherri - posted on 03/26/2012

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My son is 5 and still hates coloring of any sort. Why the big push to want or need to make him like it?

Katy - posted on 03/26/2012

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My oldest is almost 4 1/2 and is just starting to really want to color. I just leave the supplies out for her and once in a while she will pick some pictures on the computer to print off and color. My youngest at 19 months colors with her. I think just having crayons and paper as an option to use is a good idea. Just leave them where he can reach them.

Barb - posted on 03/26/2012

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My three-year-old has never really been into coloring and things like that either. She does color on the iPad however. He likes Thomas the train so there's an app that you can color the engines. He'll spend a lot of time doing that but crayons not so much. I agree with the other posters that all kids are different and have different interests at different times so all you can do is continue to make things available and let them make their choices. Their interests change a lot in those early years.

Johnny - posted on 03/26/2012

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My daughter doesn't get that much into art, at home or at school. It doesn't really matter what it is, she doesn't seem to enjoy colouring, painting, or anything else. She is 3 1/2. I've tried all sorts of neat creative ideas, and the school does some great projects, but she is simply disinterested. She will colour for 5 minutes and then go on to something else. I just keep giving her the opportunity and the tools, and I figure that she will do it if she wants to. I also suggest projects from time to time to see if I can get her attention.



She is a big reader though. She can sit reading for hours. She also loves to build with Legos, Meccano, Tinker Toys and all sorts of things like that. I guess art just isn't her thing. It wasn't mine either. I even stopped going to a therapist once because she insisted we try art therapy, lol. I don't think it is that big a deal, except for that she will struggle to deal in school with teachers who think that art is the be all and end all. I remember it well....

Katrina - posted on 03/26/2012

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my daughter was like that.. so instead i taught her how to read.. she is 15 now and loves to draw and color.. it will come or not at their pace.. my other daughter however.. is 17.. and since she was 1 she would color or draw for hours.. the other thing she loved.. was color wonder.. as there is no mess to clean.. i found out later that my 15 year old (the one that hated to be messy) was OCD.. so it made more since.. she could not deal with the messes on her hands..

Angie - posted on 03/26/2012

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Get him some plastic gloves for finger painting. Do you color with him or just have him color by himself? Does he have any character interests? You might let him pick out some supplies that he finds interesting at the store. Try getting a really large floor coloring book that you can join him coloring. What about edible/home made play dough (there are many recipes on the web)? He might find it fun to make it with you and then be able to build what he wants.

Heather - posted on 03/26/2012

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Try doing it with him. Show him how to do it. He might not know what to do unless he is shown how!

Brittney - posted on 03/26/2012

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I would try giving him a few colors to color with, if I give too many (4) to my daughter, she doesn't color, so I give her one color per hand.

Courtni - posted on 03/26/2012

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That's a pretty good idea Krista. I'll have to try that. He just seems to get bored. I just bought a whole new set of crayons for him and he has plenty of paint, markers, sidewalk chalk...all of that including an art easel with a chalkboard. We have put all of these things in his hands time after time and he just seems to be done with it before he really gets started. The only thing I see him playing with is play dough, however after I've taken the colors out (like 15 different colors) he plays with them for a few minutes and moves on to something else. When I try to put them away, he comes back to play with them again for about a minute and walks away again.

Krista - posted on 03/26/2012

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I'm surprised that he'd lose interest in crayons, as they're not really dirty.



Another option might be to try a different kind of art. Does he like clay? Or other crafts?



One thing that he might like is this -- take a good, strong Ziploc freezer bag and squeeze in a bottle full of hair gel. Add a few drops of neon blue or green food colouring, squeeze every drop of air out of the bag, and squish it around 'till the colour is blended. Then, lay the bag out flat on a piece of white cardboard, and tape the four sides down. He can then "draw" with his finger (as the white will show through wherever he pushes his finger) and can have fun making shapes, drawing, erasing, and it's completely mess-free.

Brittney - posted on 03/26/2012

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color with him! get out colorful crayons, markers, paints and get yourself into the mess of art, too. If he doesn't like to get dirty show him he can use a brush to make 'strokes' or sidewalk chalk, crayons, markers, pencils (though only if he's understanding as to what they are used for.)

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