Drawing games are a phenomenal way to get kids dragging a pencil across a surface. They get to practice mark-making, they’re using their little noggins to think beyond simply drawing something, and they are fun.
Here is a collection of games you can try with your kids at home, in the car or in the ever-dreadful waiting room.
1. Exquisite Corpse Drawings
This drawing game got its start with those crazy Surrealist artists, and it is incredibly fun. One person starts with a piece of paper and drawing utensil, and draws part of a figure or animal. They fold the part of paper back that they have drawn on, leaving a little bit of the drawing showing. The paper is handed to the next person, and they start drawing where the first person left off. Again, they leave a little bit of their drawing showing after they fold their drawing back, and this continues until the page has been filled.
You can choose to simply fold the paper in half and each person draws a half of the drawing, or you can get all complicated and fold the paper into quarters or more. Hilarity will ensue.
2. Scribble Drawings
Scribble all over a piece of paper with a pencil. This in itself is fun, but then there’s more! Stare at the scribbles and see what pops out. When you have found something, outline it in black Sharpie or some permanent marker, and leave the rest of the scribbles in the background, or continue to find background shapes in the remaining scribbles. Color it in if you’re so inspired.
3. Flashlight Drawings
Shine a flashlight on different objects with the light aimed toward the wall. With a piece of paper taped to the wall, trace the shadow of the object. You will have distorted drawing of your object, and you can go in and add a scene around it, or just trace a bunch of objects on the same page. (Small Spiderman toys work quite well.)
More Drawing Games
4. This is a fantastic game from Nurture Store, where one child draws something and then verbally explains to another child(ren) exactly how to draw what they have drawn. This is a good test of communication skills.
5. Another favorite around here is for one of us to draw something and the other person tries to copy it exactly. Fen loves doing this especially, and she gets so intense in her concentration.
6. Don’t forget my Blind Contour Drawing post from a few weeks back- it’s always a fun time.
7. One person can start a drawing and pass the paper to the next person to finish. You can set a time limit for each person, or just let them wing it and pass off the paper when they feel they are about halfway finished with the drawing.
8. Similar to the finding something to draw from your scribble page, is to close your eyes and draw a quick scribble on a piece of paper, pass the paper onto someone else who then has to use the scribble as the starting point for their drawing.
9. An adult draws geometric shapes on a piece of paper and hangs it up for the kids to see. The adult then calls out a shape at a time and each kid must use that shape in their drawing to form a scene. This idea is based on Cheri Harrell’s idea from Teachers.net.
10. A game I saw in a book once- can’t remember where- is to draw 5 dots on a piece of paper, then, using those dots, draw a person. One dot will be where the head is, 2 dots where the hands are, and two mark where the feet are. Make sense? Wait- I’ll make my stepson draw one for you. Look: