Not All Kids Like Arts and Crafts

No all kids like arts and crafts
I’ve tried and tried again. Pulling out the paints, glue and bits and pieces for collage, getting out the crayons and the blackboard, but no, Elliott is just not into arts and crafts. He would much prefer to put his train tracks together, to play with screwdrivers and pretend to unscrew nuts and bolts. He’d love more than ever to build houses out of blocks and drive his cars through the tunnels he has built. Some of us just don’t gravitate towards being artsy, and I believe it goes for kids too.

It is said that crafts can provide a foundation for future learning by developing higher thinking skills, enhancing multicultural understandings, building self esteem, gaining positive emotional responses to learning and engaging through a variety of learning styles. Surely Elliott can gain these benefits in a different way?  I hope so, I’m almost certain he can.

I’m not going to give up just yet though, nor am I going to force art and crafts onto Elliott.  I’m going to give him some more options and if he still isn’t interested, well I’ll just leave it at that.
I’ve looked for some different ideas to the traditional arts and crafts and I’m hoping that introducing these ideas could possibly ignite Elliott’s interest in arts and crafts.

Here are some ideas I’ve come across that I’m going to try:


  • Take the craft outside, like painting rocks or painting on the grass instead of a table inside.
  • Leave out some new materials that Elliott has never seen before, it might just spark his inquisitiveness.
  • Run with his interest of  ‘building things’ and introduce cardboard boxes and recycled materials for him to build with and then paint and/or draw on like this Cardboard Car Wash or Cardboard  Box Train– this is being creative and artsy too!
  • Draw on windows with dry erase markers, this is something totally different than the usual drawing on paper.
  • Whenever I’ve put out paint and paper, Elliott always ends up painting his hands and feet. Next time I will try turning this into an activity where he can put his footprints and hand prints onto some butchers paper. In the past, I just haven’t been set up for this type of painting.
  • Try some non-traditional painting with things like a cotton bud, toothbrush, stick, toilet roll etc.
  • Try painting and/or gluing food items like popcorn, macaroni or noodles.
  • Try using his matchbox cars as a painting tool – drive through the paint and make tracks.
  • Use his Mega Blocks to paint and make patterns.
  • Walk around the garden with him and collect sticks and leaves to create a collage, this way his involvement may encourage some creativity instead of the materials already being there.


In saying all of this, as a parent, I probably need to just chill out and remember that children find their own way and become their own person in their own time. Although I can provide him with things to help him discover, I cannot force him into his interests.

Do you have a not so Artsy child? What did you do with them to make them enjoy arts and crafts more?

Update: Two years after writing this post at four and a half years old, I can say that Elliott is still not overly ‘arty’ and gravitates more towards building things. He particularly a huge love of LEGO. To me this is a reflection of who he is and where his interests lie and I’m more than happy to run with this.

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman. She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a freelance writer, a social media manager, a Mum to her six-year-old son, one-year-old daughter, six chickens and Benny the dog and wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little worker's cottage in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.
Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

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  1. February 4, 2014 / 4:40 am

    I definitely had a not so art and crafty child and I am definitely the not so art and crafty Mom. I think that society puts so much pressure now days on young Moms and makes them feel inferior if they aren’t doing whatever everyone else is doing. You know you child better than anyone else and you know what works for them and what doesn’t. I feel there is no point in pushing the arts and crafts thing if that is not what interests him. At this stage of his life, whatever he does he is learning something new – and that is the important thing. You aren’t just leaving him in an empty room with nothing to stimulate him.
    I think you are doing an amazing job with him and you should be proud of yourself !
    Have the best day !

  2. February 4, 2014 / 10:32 am

    Hi there. I honestly cant say I ever think about my boy ‘not crafting’ so to speak and whether he is lacking or not getting enough life skills. Meh!! Like your Elliot he is a cars and trucks man. Watching him playing and that imagination of his, he is certianly arty in his own right. Maybe its because his mother hasn’t formally completed any art since Year 10 at high school. I enjoy the odd craft time with him when his sister is sleeping. He does enjoy it but yes it has to be organised and he cant just go and grab paint etc and go to town. I think your ideas are brilliant and I will be bookmarking this post and doing some craft for fun outside, not because I feel I have to for development purposes. Great post!!

  3. Haley May
    February 4, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    My girl loves her art and craft, so we tend to do a fair bit in our house.
    I am very thankful for websites like Pinterest and the endless ideas for keeping a busy toddler entertained (not just craft).

  4. February 5, 2014 / 12:52 pm

    I’m always cracking my head for ideas like this. I think most boys generally take a very different approach to art and craft compared to girls. And if given a choice, many of them would probably much rather do something action packed rather than sit and doodle, draw and paint. I like the idea of painting rocks. I might do that! Thanks for sharing

  5. February 6, 2014 / 6:38 am

    And some mums just aren’t crafty types, eg ME! My girl loves craft but they boys not so much. My kids would do craft and painting all day if she could!