Probably a few months before Kayla was 18 months we started requesting crayons when we went out to eat with the kids menu to keep her occupied. At first she was like any other toddler confronted with a new toy. She put them in her mouth a lot. We’d scribble with her and she’d copy us for a little while before trying to take a bite out of the color green. Overall, pretty normal stuff.
Whenever at home, she’d always try and take my pen away from me and take over with whatever I was doing. While I would have no problem passing the bill paying on someone else, I doubt without a basic knowledge of well.. writing, math and reading that she would get the electricity to stay on. Come to think of it, her always wanting to take my pen and draw may have started first, and why the “We need to get her some crayons” was decided. Getting crayons at a restaurant was the dry run before we rushed out to buy some.
Either way it was a gradual progression. Eventually I would give in and give her my pen and some random bits of paper and she’d scribble all over it before running off and making marks on my couches. I really had to watch her for a while. It was easier to give her a pen usually since she couldn’t take a chunk out of a pen so crayons were usually reserved for when we went out to restaurants. I still remember giving her a pen and some paper at home her wanting me to hold the paper in my lap while she drew (like I was her desk) and not always keeping it on the paper. Getting several marks on me and more on the couches. I ended up using a lot of fabric cleaner.
Eventually, she stopped trying to put the crayons in her mouth, figured out how you were only supposed to draw on paper, and was much more fascinated with making lines and scribbles on said paper. She was always calmed and distracted with a writing utensil and some paper. It was a tactic we employed often. I mean, what parent doesn’t want the peace and quiet afforded by common household items that don’t cause the child to tear your house apart?
So that’s when about the 18 month mark that people started to be amazed how good her scribbles were for her age. That isn’t it advanced to be scribbling and holding the pen so well? (Her G noticed it first, but we thought she was just biased) So we went on normally, letting her draw when she wanted and drawing with her. Her drawings started to evolve, and Marshall swore she could copy the smiley faces he drew. I didn’t see it. Eventually though.. I did. And every body else did too. She wasn’t just scribbling anymore, she was drawing.
Stuff you could recognize would come few and far between but now we get pages and pages of circles, spirals, sad faces, smiley faces, even a few bears. She’s even noticed an acute lack of a nose on all the simple faces we drew so has added those in. We’ve looked it up to see if it is advanced, and we found that the five finger grip she uses when holding a pen? Usually they get to that when they start school, so by four years of age. We compared her to other kids her age and ones older and seen a remarkable difference. Yes, she is ahead of the curve with her drawing skill it seems.
We don’t exactly called her “gifted” or anything else, mainly because she sometimes runs around the house saying “I’m a map” while twirling in circles. We do want to foster her talents and in something she obviously seems to love. We’re not going to look for a tutor or special class, but we have gotten her a few more things to let her creativity show. We’ve gotten her some play-dough like clay, watercolors, finger paint (which is actually quite a clean endeavor and she genuinely prefers a brush to her fingers), a huge box of crayons and several notebooks for her to use. Even an eisel and desk set is in her future as an upcoming birthday gift.
Either way, we’re excited to see what she’ll create next. She just keeps on surprising us.