How To Draw With Children And Babies - The Monart Method
Updated: May 27, 2020
As a kindergarten teacher or as a parent of young kids you might be wondering what to do to familiarize the little ones with the joy of drawing. I've wondered about this because I wanted to draw with my little 6 years old nephew.
How do you draw with children?
There are several different approaches a teacher or parent can take to draw with children. One opportunity is called the Monart method invented by Mona Brookes. It teaches children how to see objects in basic shapes and forms.
In this article, I'll tell you more about the Monart method because now you don't really know what it is right? We'll also talk about drawing with Babies later on.
I. The Monart Method
The Monart method is probably the most famous way to make children familiar and comfortable with the art of drawing. Kids who are being taught this way of drawing are more likely to continue drawing after the age of eight.
At eight most children quit drawing due to a lack of skills or motivation. This is often the result of our school system not encouraging children to draw, paint or make music. Art is almost completely neglected in teachers' curricula nowadays in modern societies.
This is a terrible development because all kinds of art are known for developing children's' and also adults' brains more than natural sciences or learning languages. Of course, these are important, too but arts should definitely be integrated more at school.
In case you are a teacher at elementary school who sincerely cares about the development of the little ones or you're a parent of young artists and don't want your kids to lose their passion you have probably already heard of the Monart method.
If you haven't, let me quickly explain to you what it is and why you should consider doing some of these exercises with your kids. We will also deal with the question of whether there are alternatives to this method and if they are worth it.
What is the Monart method?
The Monart method teaches drawing beginners but especially children the basics of drawing and how to break down objects into its basics. It also teaches the students basic perception skills and inspires analytical and critical thinking.
Mona Brookes developed this method to eliminate the "I can't draw" thought that can be found throughout many children's minds. She combines opportunities for the students to express themselves freely and simultaneously learning the basics of observation.
Seeing the world as an artist does is often very difficult for nearly everybody who starts to learn about drawing. Normally, your left brain dictates and manipulates the way you see the world. the left side is responsible for making you see a certain logic in everything.
I've dedicated a very long article on Mac H. - Creative—that I'm very proud of by the way—only to answering the question of how it is possible to learn to see like an artist.
You can actually quite easily learn how to see the world with your right brain if you learn about the 5 basic perception skills. If you click on the link you will be directed to this article I'm talking about. The link will open in a new tab.
If you internalize these 5 things you will instantly see the world with different eyes and you can easily teach your children to do the same afterwards.
If you want to learn the Monart method exactly, you might want to check out the original book from Mona Brookes called Drawing With Children. Clicking the link will lead you to the Amazon shop site where you can get your own copy of the book.
If you're a regular visitor and maybe even a mailing list subscriber of Mac H. - Creative you probably know that I'm a big fan of the easy-to-learn drawing method Zentangle. Is this method suitable for any grown-up with no previous drawing experience?
Yes, it is.
Is Zentangle also suited for children? No, I actually don't think it is. Unfortunately, I really think, that Zentangle might be a little too complex or too detailed for children of younger ages.
The abstract, relaxing drawing technique needs a huge amount of focus in order to get it right. A child might be overstrained by the high levels of detail.
This especially applies to younger children under the age of 10. If your children are 11, 12 or already in the teenage phase, Zentangle can be a great way to teach the little ones the art of drawing. Next to the stressful school life it can calm them down and offer an opportunity to distract them from the stress.
Concluding I want to say that drawing with kids is very easy by going through the different lessons in the book from Mona Brookes. You can get it by clicking here to get to the Amazon site.
I tried it with my nephew and now he is excited to continue drawing something new every time I come to visit him. So in my experience, I can say one thing.
For children under the age of 10, the Monart method is the best way to draw with them. For older children and teenagers the method apparently works just as fine and the Zentangle method can be added for very enthusiastic young artists.
II. The 3 Things To Pay Attention To
Aside from the Monart method or the Zentangle method, there are three things that you can do to familiarize your children with the art of drawing. For these three things, you won't need any additional books or online courses.
These are merely things that can help you to make your kids more comfortable with the drawing process generally. These are the three things I'm talking about:
1. Ask Openly About Their Art
2. Draw Along With The Kids
3. Let It Be About The Process
I think these don't need that much of an explanation so I'll make it really quick now. In case you need a more thorough explanation of the specific things mentioned now I recommend checking out this article. It's mainly about gift ideas for artistic kids but the fifth subheading is exactly about these three things.
1. Asking openly about their art is essential to not discourage them from drawing in general. Instead of asking what it is that the kid has portrayed in his or her art piece you could ask why certain colors or shapes have been used more than others.
2. It will make the little ones feel comfortable if you spend time with them drawing next to them. Pay attention to not drawing as well as possible but more on your kid's level. It will keep the child motivated and encouraged to draw more.
3. Some people say it was necessary or useful to give the children simple templates to draw from. In my experience, it is more fun for any child to draw without having a specific goal. Just let them draw whatever they feel like drawing.
I hope these tips work with your children or the ones you're supposed to familiarize with pencils and crayon et cetera. Remember that it varies from child to child individually what motivates them and what appears most interesting to them.
III. Drawing With Babies
Of course with babies, you have to change your approach a little bit.
When can babies start drawing?
When babies start to be able to draw differs from child to child. However, around the age of 15 months, most toddlers begin to scribble around randomly. Two to four months later they start to understand that the lines on the paper result from their movements with a crayon or pencil.
Drawing at that age is important for children to be able to express their feelings and thoughts. What appears as mostly random lines to adults is actually directly connected to a child's emotions.
This is nothing I am just making up right now. Actual research shows that scribbles made by babies are giving us insights into children's feelings towards the objects they're drawing from. I've read about it here.
Encouraging your little toddlers to draw can be essential in their emotional development in general. Crayons and all kinds of papers are great gift ideas for babies. If you want to know more about what you can buy to make your baby happy, check out this article.
I've structured that post in a way that you can find suitable gifts for artistic children at any age. Click here and it will open in a new tab.
IV. Related Questions
1. Are You Born An Artist?
You aren't born an artist and art is not a talent. Art is a skill that can be learned by anyone in the world. Drawing and painting are just skills you can learn step by step as you are learning to play an instrument for instance.
2. What Makes A Good Art Teacher?
A good art teacher encourages his or her students to express their emotions as freely as possible without giving strict instructions but by giving valuable tips and tricks on how to accelerate the learning process.