Early Childhood Education/upside down drawing at age 4


CK wrote at 2008-04-28 19:22:50
I was wondering if there was any follow up to this discussion?  I have just encounterd a 2 year old in our art classes who draws everything upside down and when she is finished turns it around.  This is news to me, and I am interested in gaining more information on the subject.

Mrs. Art Teacher wrote at 2008-10-17 23:54:24
This little girl has either been taught a drawing technique designed to use the right side of the brain or she has figured out a brilliant way to draw more realistically!  Drawing upside down helps EVERYONE draw better.  It fools the left side of the brain and gives the right side of your brain a chance to concentrate on the shapes and lines.  I sense GT material!

Babbie wrote at 2009-01-11 08:32:55
I'm so happy to find someone with a similar problem. My daughter who is 3, can draw very well, except ALWAYS upside down, upside down princess, upside down tree,etc,( ever since she has started to draw) and also looks at things preferably upside down.

Te wrote at 2009-01-20 21:46:09
When teaching drawing, one of the exercises we use is to turn a picture upside down to draw. This helps you look at the lines and draw what you see; not what you think you see. Just google up side down drawing to learn more.

Nicole wrote at 2009-01-25 08:56:01
when i was little according to my mother i drew everything upside down..i grew out if it later on..but she just assumed it was because when i watched other people draw i was always across from them so that's how i saw it done..

SL wrote at 2009-02-26 14:16:17
My little girl is two and she has drawn everything upside down for a while now and puts great detail into people- that's her favourite. They all have to have arms, legs, feet etc but then she adds clothes on top- sometimes even "ruining" the picture but to her it is finished then. I think sometimes it is just to challenge herself as much as anything else. Anything new she learns to draw is initially drawn the right way round then as she gets better at it she starts drawing upside down. Glad to know she isn't the only one! Then perhaps as Nicole says, sometimes I draw upside down to join in on a picture we do together so maybe she's just picked it up from there.

Nicole wrote at 2009-03-27 15:40:01
Drawing objects upside down enables the artist, whatever their age, to focus on the lines, shapes, and other details; instead of what the object is. The result is usually much more proportionate and realistic. I've never heard of someone this young using this method without instruction!

lindy wrote at 2009-04-21 03:56:54
So pleased to read that there are other children doing their drawings like this!  My 3 year old has always and ONLY draws all of her drawings upside down or even sideways and then turns it the right way up to show me her finished product!  She too, nearly always draws people and is very particular with drawing colorful clothes and bows in hair etc.  She also is particular with drawing flowers with stems and petals.  I am going to google upside down drawing as one other person commented.

Mumof2 wrote at 2010-08-30 02:50:00
So glad there are others puzzled by this.  My little girl is 3 and all of her own accord draws, particularly people, upside down then spins them around to view them.  She knows exactly what she's doing and will vocalise as she's drawing ... that's the head, then the smily face, and the legs.  Interesting that the children described in this forum seem to be girls.  Am looking for a clinical study out of interest!

joanne wrote at 2011-01-28 11:34:37
hi, this is very interesting, my daughter is 10, she has just been diagnosed with irlens syndrome, and turns her pictures upside down and draws from the feet first, many people have mentioned dyslexia, which is a sympton of irlens, if anyone else is experience the same thing then please contact me, please feel free to read up on the irlens website for any information  

SL wrote at 2011-02-10 13:24:01
Hi, I wrote when my daughter was 2 about writing upside down. She is now 4 and at school and I very rarely see her draw upside down anymore- although she can and does it quite well. If we do pictures together she can draw upside down still to get in on the picture but doesn't do it naturally now. She writes well and her letter formation is quite good. She still enjoys drawing and putting lots of detail into it. She is also reading well too and even though she is at the younger end of the year group she is ahead of most, so for her I don't think it was a symptom of anything just a phase she went through. I hope this helps anyone that is worrying about their child doing this.

Angie wrote at 2011-07-31 19:02:44
Hi all, my daughter is now 13, but as a child drew upside down at times, she also transposed numbers until quite late. She is now doing very well at school, in top sets for all subjects and reads adult books. She does however do things in a different way to others especially in maths, may struggle with doing things a certain way, but finds her own way of doing things and usully arrives at the right answer. She struggles to hold her knife and fork properly. She is however very quick witted and often will question things others take for granted. Often wondered if she saw things differently to most other people. Not worried about her, but wondered if there was a 'condition' that it might stop some arguments with teachers who want her to conform.  

Sheryl French wrote at 2012-11-30 23:36:13
I am so glad to hear there are other children who draw upside down. My four year old draws upside down. When she is drawing,  she starts to draw at the bottom of the paper and works her way up. It hard to see what she has drawn at first, but then when you turn the paper around you can see lots of interesting people and animals with lot and lots of details.

jill wrote at 2013-05-28 15:39:33
Hi all, my 3 year old son is drawing like this and we too found it very odd!  To him its completely normal and he too can describe what he is drawing and where it goes - all upside down though!  Very interesting all round we are fascinated by his creations as I am sure all you parents are.

Tami wrote at 2013-11-17 13:56:16
My daughter is 4 and has been drawing upside down, or sometimes sideways,  since she turned 3. She also is left handed as well as detailed. Her teachers are  intrigued.  

Mamica wrote at 2014-02-28 18:37:00
My 3 year old son does the same thing. He just started drawing people, and always sideways or upside down. He does seem very focused on the shapes he's making. The circles for the eyes, the long, thin rectangle mouth part, etc. He tends to favor his right hand for drawing, but I've seen him eat and do other things with his left.  

JB_Ottawa wrote at 2015-11-03 15:13:38
My son (4.5 years old) also draws upside down. I am embarrassed to say that the daycare pointed it out to me. I did not notice. I really should spend more time drawing with him, not to "correct" the way he draws, but just to have that shared experience with him.  

Early Childhood Education

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I will answer questions in the area of Child Development for children ages two to five. This includes social, emotional, cognitive & language development, large motor & fine motor skills, behavioral issues, potty training and parental concerns. I can give ideas for lesson plans and classroom activities. I will also help with daycare/preschool policies. I can also help with licensing requirements for preschools/daycare, however, I am only familiar with the licensing requirements for the state of Michigan.


I have been teaching in preschools for 25 years. My main experience has been with children two to five years of age. The last 16 years I have been the lead teacher for the pre-kindergarten program.


I have a B.S. degree and a teaching certificate in elementary education with a ZA endorsement (child development) from my graduate level classes.

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