How to make bad art with a toddler

Parenting / Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

“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. 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

  2. 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. 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…

  3. 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. 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.

  4. ‘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. 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!

  5. 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

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