Warning: This is not your typical “How to draw,” step by step drawing for kids tutorial. In fact, it’s not much of a drawing tutorial at all. (Scroll to the end for the short version).
Most of what I do is focus on the process of creating when I’m with my kids, whether it’s creating an art project or an imaginative playscape. I don’t worry so much about the outcome.
But if you know toddlers, they become very frustrated when they can’t reach their desired outcome. They love to try and get really mad when they feel like they fail. And when it comes to creating, I feel like it’s impossible to fail. Everyone is an artist, anyone can create. I want to pass that passion along to my kids.
So when we were just casually drawing the other day and Baby T said he wanted to draw a watermelon, I said to him, “Ok, go ahead.” And he whined, “But I don’t know hoooowwwwww.”
Instead of saying, “Well, you draw a triangle, and the rind is green but the flesh is reddish, and there are black seeds,” I engaged Baby T in a bit of a creative process.
“What do you think of when you think of a watermelon?” I asked.
“I don’t knooooowwwww.”
Hmmm. This was going to be more challenging than I thought.
“What color is a watermelon?” I tried again.
“Green!” Baby T reached for the green crayon. He looked at me.
I nodded toward the paper and said, “Put some green on that paper!” Baby T scribbled away.
“Does a watermelon have any other colors?” I asked.
“Red!” Baby T said.
At this point, an investigation ensued to find the right shade of red. I kept picking out more magenta tones, but Baby T wanted something more orangey. When he found it, he went to town, scribbling all over the paper.
When he was done, I asked, “What else does a watermelon have?”
“Seeds!” Baby T loves watermelon seeds. Especially when they come out in his poop later. Don’t ask.
So we took out a scrap of black construction paper, and Baby T cut out little slivers, triangles, and rectangles. Then we got out the glue stick, and he stuck the seeds all over his watermelon.
When he was done, he was proud of his project, and he pretended to eat it. Since I didn’t catch a picture of that, I tried to get him to do it again. He wouldn’t.
So I had to improvise.
And here is the final masterpiece!
How to Draw a Watermelon with Kids:
1. Ask them how they feel when they think of a watermelon. Do they feel happy? Hot? Sticky? Yummy? Have them put marks on the paper that reflect that feeling.
2. Talk about colors. Have your child pick out the colors they think of when they think of a watermelon.
3. Engage them in another sensory activity: tearing or cutting up paper for the seeds.
4. Kids love glue. Give them a glue stick, or let them squeeze liquid glue all over the paper (or in dots, if they have that much self control) and stick the “seeds” to the paper.
5. Let them pretend to eat their masterpiece, and assure them it’s juicy and delicious when they offer some to you.
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