Simon says, draw!

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You know Simon says — that game we played as kids? Well, we've turned it into an art game in our house. Simon says, "draw circles," and the artists (in this case Maia and her friend Marlise) draw circles. Simon also says things like, "trade pastels," "draw dots," and "draw a face." It's great fun! We don't make it competitive at all — more like drawing prompts.

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They love it!

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See how different their drawings are even though they each responded to the same Simon says instructions?

I wrote about "Simon says drawing" as well as as a group body tracing activity for my column in this month's WNC Parent magazine. It's the birthday party issue, so my article is about art party activities. You can read my column here. Enter page 24 in the page search field at the top of the screen, then click on the page itself to see it large enough to read.

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Let me know if you give "Simon says drawing" a try!


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  1. Marnee says

    Oh I love this! I’ll be giving this a go tomorrow and put it in my bag of tricks when I finally head back to Pre-school after being home with my babies. Thank you

  2. andrea says

    i love how you can see various art “spatters” on the walls in their art studio!

  3. Barbara Zaborowski says

    I love this idea and will try it this fall when preschool starts again. It reminds me of a project we tried where everyone involved starts a picture and when a bell rings (or the teacher says some magic word) the kids pass their papers to the right and everyone continues drawing on their new picture. You can also do it passing the markers or crayons around instead of the picture. Both projects (yours and mine) involve being open to changing what you thought you were going to do; it’s interesting to see how different children react to having their plans changed.

  4. says

    I’m about to go read the column, but wanted to quickly say that I’ve been mulling over the idea of an art birthday party since my son was born! What a fun idea!! He’ll be turning 5 in March and I think it would be the perfect age if he’ll agree to that theme. He’s quite opinionated… (though what 4 yr old isn’t?!)

  5. Gwen says

    I also use this in my classroom. It helps me to see where the kids are when they start Kindergarten. I love your blog…just found it a few weeks ago and just today realized you are in WNC. I teach art at ArtSpace Charter School and will let all or teachers know about your blog as an awesome resource! (BTW, I also have 2 girls, 4 and 1.)

  6. says

    My family used to play a game sort of like that when I was a kid. We’d each draw a face, then fold over the top of the paper so you can just see the neck, and hand it to the next person. The next person would draw the torso, not knowing what the face looks like, then fold the paper again, so you can just see the waist line. We’d pass the paper again and the last person would draw the legs then fold it up. Pass the paper again and then everyone opens the paper they’re holding to see the strange person or animal/person, alien/person or whatever the combo happens to be. It was fun!

  7. says

    I just did this with my kids and it was SO MUCH FUN! They loved every minute of it and even both took turns being Simon. Thanks for the great idea.

  8. says

    Glad it was a hit!! Yeah, Maia and I do it together when it’s just the two of us and we take turns being Simon. Mostly Maia is Simon. :)

  9. says

    Genius! Seriously. What a great team-building exercise for my fiercely competitive twins. Actually, one is competitive and the other couldn’t care less. You know I do everything you do so I’ll report back. I’m your student. Give me all your knowledge!

  10. Gwen says

    Actually, it is unique- I should clarify- I use a similar idea…without the “Simon says” part. I will be adding that element to make it more fun this year!
    Please visit, I would love to meet you and show you our school! We go back August 10th.

  11. says

    Thanks for this idea. I did a cooperative simon says painting with my girls (4 and 2). It was peaceful and fun without any fighting over colors, table space etc. We each got one color and some instructions included “pass your paint to the person next to you” Smiles all around.
    Thanks as always for your ideas.