Bringing Out the Picasso in Your Toddler
Drawing is an exciting -- and sometimes frustrating -- first step toward writing. Your child will be able to grasp a fat crayon around her first birthday, yet she probably won't start scribbling until about 16 or 18 months.
Encourage her artistic exploration by providing her with chunky crayons, washable markers and big sheets of paper. You want to encourage your child's interest, yet set parameters (hence, the big sheets of paper) so your walls don't become a mural.
Demonstrate to your child how to draw, and don't worry about your own artistic talents (or lack thereof). A Magna Doodle is a fun, mess-free, virtually indestructible option for a burgeoning Matisse.
But don't expect to see recognizable images until after his second birthday. British child development expert Penelope Leach recommends giving your 2-year-old a variety of artistic options -- finger painting, sponge painting, drawing with chalk, or even making a collage with pre-cut items and a washable glue-pen.