How to make bad art with a toddler

Drawing of scribbles, numbers and babies

“Sleeping baby,” the Popple says, thrusting a green crayon into my hand.

I draw this.

Drawing of a sleeping baby

“Sleeping bayyybayyy!” she sings. She hands me an orange crayon.

“Orange baby,” she says.

“Awake baby or sleeping baby?” I ask.

“Sleeping bayyybayyy!”

I draw another one. She looks down, satisfied.

“Two babies,” she says.

This is what our playtime is like these days. The Popple loves drawing in that toddler way where they scribble aimlessly all over the paper/your table/themselves, but she mostly she wants me to draw things for her.

I can’t draw. As you may have noticed.

My brain likes words. It has no idea what to do with pictures. But there’s no explaining this to an almost two-year-old. When a toddler demands that you draw, you draw.

Thankfully, her artistic demands are mostly simple. She wants me to draw babies, butterflies (‘flies’) and occasionally one of her stuffed animals.

This is Mouse.

Crayon drawing of a mouse

This is Fox.

Crayon drawing of a fox in a dress

(Despite proclaiming to be a ‘words’ person, I have given my daughter’s stuffed animals totally uncreative names. She has at least three bears that are all called Teddy.)

She has no idea that my drawings are crap. She sometimes even applauds my efforts before scribbling all over them and making her favourite, most insistent demand:

“Do ten!”

She is obsessed with counting, and loves nothing more than to watch me write the numbers 1-10. I must do red ten. Blue ten. Pink ten. Big ten. ESPECIALLY big ten. We count in both English and Spanish, occasionally skipping straight to the good stuff.



At the end of the day, our papers are covered in what looks like the scrawls of a madman, all numbers and swirls and star-fished sleeping babies. It occurs to me that this mess probably makes total sense to her, which seems about right, because toddlers are mad.

I throw them in the bin, ready to start again the next day.


Diary of an imperfect mum

Island Living 365

28 Replies to “How to make bad art with a toddler”

  1. Haha I think they are cute! Who knows what toddlers think?! xx

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thanks! I have no idea what goes through her head, honestly.

  2. Oh my golly yes! My lil babe isnt up to that stage yet, shes still just hand painting! I try to draw a nice house or princess and she just high fives my art!! haha!1 #stayclassymama

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Ha! Gotta love a high five.

  3. omg, she sounds too adorable! and you a very patient mummy! Those drawing at least resemble the animal in question! so you are winning in my eyes lol xx #stayclassy

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thanks – a vague resemblance at best!

  4. Oh the title of this had me laughing! Very funny! I love your impression of your daughter – so funny. She reminds me so much of my oldest when she was little. Oh I’m laughing but I remember the pain of the constant instructions too! Impressive mouse by the way! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thanks – I think the mouse is some of my finer work. 🙂

  5. Hahahah, love this post. Reminds me of my Little Man and me, and our arty-farty sessions. Except that I suck even more at drawing!!!

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Surely you can’t be worse! My artistic skills stopped developing when I was like 8 years old.

  6. I thought your mouse was really good! I remember this stage of having to draw for the boys. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Does it last long? I’m not sure what I’m going to to do if she starts asking me to draw more complicated things…

  7. Ahh I love this! But I think your title (although very funny) is wrong. However, that might be because I REALLY can’t draw. My title would be how to make How to make “What the feck is that supposed to be?!” art with your toddler. #FridayFrolics

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I would love to see some of your bad toddler art!

  8. Big fan of Fox’s jaunty bow! Excellent attention to detail 🙂

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Thanks! No idea why the fox has a bow and is wearing a dress, but it’s best just to go with it and not ask too many questions.

  9. Awww. Warning as they get older this game can be quite brutal as they turn into little art critics and turn their nose up at your best efforts! Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Oh no! Then again, I won’t really be able to blame her for being unimpressed with my efforts.

  10. ‘My brain likes words. It has no idea what to do with pictures’ beautiful sentence lovely, I think you are pretty darn good at pictures! I think fox is especially creative! I love your scribbles, I think you should keep some! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I probably should keep some, but it’s hard to know which ones to hold onto – she goes through several sheets of paper (front and back) a day!

  11. Ha! Funny! I can’t draw at all. It’s funny though, cause my kids think my stuff is good! 🙂

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      I’m pretty sure my daughter is impressed with my art too, even though it’s pretty rubbish.

  12. These look adorable, the mouse is so cute!

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply


  13. Ha ha – this post made me laugh as I can’t draw either and I’m often demanded to draw Peppa Pig and all her ‘lovely’ family or cats!!!!! I suppose we’ll miss it when we’re no longer required to do this anymore?! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      Oh dear – I can’t imagine tackling Peppa’s whole family!

  14. In a way I both dread and look forward to the toddler stage. I look forward to it for moments like this. Fantastic! #FridayFrolics

    1. Squirmy Popple says: Reply

      The toddler stage is so much fun, honestly. I much prefer it to the baby stage.

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