How to Get a Toddler to Stop Drawing on Walls

Expert Reviewed

Toddlers are naturally curious and are still learning boundaries. If you’ve caught your toddler doodling on the walls, remember not to react in anger. Instead, use simple language to stop them and redirect them to an acceptable drawing space. Remind your toddler that you enjoy their scribbles so long as they’re not on the walls.

  1. 1 Use clear language to stop the toddler from drawing on the wall. As soon as you see the child writing or drawing on the wall, calmly tell them to stop. Instead of lecturing the toddler about why we don’t write on walls, use short sentences to get them to stop.[1]
    • For example, say, “Put the crayon down, please! Walls are not for drawing.”
  2. 2 Ask the toddler to help you clean the wall. Let the toddler know that they’re not in trouble for scribbling, but that the wall is not the place to do it and now the wall needs to be cleaned off. Don’t use cleaning as a punishment or they may associating drawing with punishment.[2]
    • For example, say, “This wall has crayon on it now. Please help me clean it off. Then, we can draw on paper at the table.”
    • Thank your toddler when they help you clean up their scribbles. This will help reinforce the idea that you prefer clean walls, and it will make their actions seem valued.
  3. 3 Redirect the toddler to an appropriate drawing space. It’s important to let your toddler know that drawing and scribbling are great as long as they’re in the right place. Once you’ve told the toddler to stop scribbling on the walls, show them where they’re allowed to write.[3]
    • You might say, “Let’s go over to the easel and I can watch you draw a picture.”
  4. 4 Avoid reacting in anger to your toddler’s scribbles. Never hit or yell at a toddler when you see that they’ve written on the walls. Reacting in anger can damage your relationship and make it more likely that the toddler will keep drawing on the walls to get a reaction.[4]
    • It’s fine to let your toddler know…
Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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