As complex as toys and games can be nowadays, there’s still no substitute for the fun a kid can find with a piece of paper and some art supplies, or just a pencil. Most kids love to draw, regardless of their talent level. And if you know a kid who doesn’t, maybe one of these games can get them started!
#1 Scribble clouds
We use this name because the game is a lot like looking for shapes in the clouds. Each player scribbles randomly over their page for a minute or so, drawing random loops and shapes. Then they put their pencils down, take up markers or crayons, and examine their scribbles to see what sort of images they can find. The markers can be used to highlight any picture they spot in the scribbles, as well as add small details like eyes or faces.
#2 Shadow drawings
Tape a piece of paper on the wall, turn the lights off, and point a flashlight or other light source at the paper. Then take turns holding something between the light and the wall and tracing the shadow shapes that form on the paper.
#3 Exquisite corpse
Kids love to draw monsters and dragons, which is why this game has been a hit since the 19th Century! Fold a piece of paper into equal segments. The first player draws something on the first segment, not showing it to the others, and continues his or her drawing over the fold a little bit. Then fold the paper so the first segment isn’t showing and pass it to the second player, who continues the drawing on the second segment without looking what the first player has done. Continue until everyone has had a chance to add to the drawing, and then unfold the paper and see what the picture looks like! By the way, this can also be played with writing as well, with each player writing a few sentences and leaving the last words visible for the next player to continue from.
#4 Shape scenes
This is a good game for kids who are learning their shapes. It’s best if you have a poster or chart showing the shapes — or make your own! Each kid starts drawing a scene, and when you call out the name of a shape, they have to find a way to include that shape in their pictures.
#5 Drawing directions
This is a good game for working on communications skills as well as drawing. One child is selected as the leader. He or she draws a picture without showing it to the other (it’s best that the picture not be too complicated). Then it’s up to the leader to explain to the other kids, step by step, how to copy his or her picture without showing it to them directly. Comparing the final results to the original should be a lot of fun!