The way we talk & interact with our children's artwork is as important as providing them with materials. If we want our little artists to flourish as confident & creative thinker, we need to make sure our comments and conversations encourage this as well.
Our well intended " how pretty!" or " what did you draw?" don't really add anything constructive to the conversation or learning. I recommend using open ended questions or descriptive observations such as " tell me about your artwork" or "I notice you used big circles over here. Tell me more about that"
Here's some do's and don't on how to encourage meaningful conversations with your child:
Instead of saying: That's so cute
Try: I notice you used the color red. Tell me more about that
Instead of: Is that a castle?
Try: I see you made big square with triangles on top.
Instead of: Please color inside the lines
Try: I see a thin black line over here. Do you notice it too?
Instead of: Draw something pretty for grandma
Try: What would you like to draw today? Is there something that reminds you of grandma?
You will be surprised at the conversations you will have! You will get to know your child better as well as continue to encourage his creative and thought process. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!