For a long time Number One Son was totally ignorant of pencils, pens, paints and crayon. He was not apparently interested in colouring or holding a paint brush. In a playgroup I could manage to get him to stick absent-mindedly a couple of stars onto a paper, but then he normally wondered off. Similarly, toy cars were always preferable to a sing-along-a-song, and I ended up learning all the English nursery rhymes and songs while Number One Son was running away from the point of action. Keeping him sitting down was a chore.
Suddenly, all has changed profoundly. He absent-mindedly joins a familiar song in a playgroup, although he is still more likely to wrestle with pillows or go and look for a toy car. With his slowly improved talking, he has also found a flair for paints. We customarily keep paint bottles visible in his room and he quite often asks for a paper and paints for a while for surfaces of colours or smiley faces or crosses and zigzags.
It just seems that with the creative activities and music just as with anything in Number One Son’s development everything is related to the point when he is ready and decides voluntarily to start doing something. As a parent, you get a lot of brainwashing about the beneficial effect of singing, listening to stories and crafts to early learning. It is so easy to feel guilty, when your son just likes to run and be physical. Nevertheless, the right time for everything is crucial and it seems the right time is so personal that there is no point ‘forcing’ involvement in educational activities when there is no interest. You want to keep their enjoyment and excitement in crafting and creativity.