Three-year-old doesn't like art

My three-year-old son is learning the alphabet and numbers. He loves being read to and reads a little himself. However, he will not play with creative things like paint, crayons and markers. I've tried taking a back seat and watching, doing it with him, praising him for the smallest scribble and trying to encourage him, but he will not stay focused for more than 30 seconds. What should I do?


I had a three-year-old student in one of my classes who had the same lack of interest you describe. His mother was also concerned. I kept telling her not to worry -- that her son would paint and color when the time was right for him.

One day, we were making costumes for a party, painting pillowcases with food coloring at the easel. This little boy was so engrossed by the vibrancy of the colors that he was drawn to the easel and spent half an hour working on his costume. This was just the beginning for him. After that, we couldn't tear him away from the art table! That's how it goes with children -- they do things in their own time.

It sounds as if you have a pretty wonderful little boy! Do not worry if he is uninterested in creative things. Just put them away for a while. He will get to them when he's ready and he is certainly not missing anything he cannot make up when he is interested. Pressure on your part will just cause him to resist.

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