Teaching Preschoolers How to Draw a Face

Patience and repetition is helpful in teaching young children to draw.
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Preschool years carry many exciting milestones. One enjoyable attribute of 3- and 4-year-olds is the beginning of their ability to create artwork that is recognizable, rather than just lines on paper. If your preschooler is eager to draw faces, this is a pretty easy task to show them. Gather up a few sheets of plain or colored paper, some crayons and get started!

1 Choose Your Timing

If possible, choose a time when your child is not too tired, hungry or thirsty for them concentrate on the task at hand. Turn off the TV and minimize distractions as much as you can. Teaching your child to draw a face is a perfect rainy-day activity because the lure of bikes and swing sets won't be as strong.

2 Break It Down

Break the face into segments. Have your preschooler practice drawing circles first, if he hasn't mastered that yet. Then add the other elements -- dots for eyes and nose and a simple smile. Draw a face of your own on the paper for your child to copy.

3 Offer Encouragement

Praise your child for her efforts. Making something that other people can recognize is exciting for her, and you should make a fuss over it. This will also boost her confidence and make her more willing to practice and to try out new drawing skills later.

4 Practice

As with most skills, your preschooler's face drawings will get better the more he practices. While you don't need to turn your home into a face picture factory, it's good to encourage your child to practice drawing faces. Once he gets the idea of how to draw faces, he can practice on paper placemats in restaurants, on scrap paper while sitting in waiting rooms, and on portable dry erase boards while driving in the car. Make a fuss over his efforts. Hang his drawings up in his own room or on the fridge, and ask him whether he wants to give of the drawings away as gifts.

5 Personalization

Once she gets a basic face down, encourage her to personalize pictures. For example, she can add dimples, different facial expressions and hair. If you want, this is also a good time to branch out into making a body to go with the face, or to make "families" by creating clusters of faces.

6 Drawing Options

Children can draw faces with crayons, markers, with fingerprint or basically in any media you have lying around. Preschoolers who are still prone to coloring on walls or floor should be supervised while drawing to avoid a huge cleanup for mom and dad.

Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.