Quiet-time art game for children

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DrawingGame_JV_2

My friend Rachel has been playing a simple quiet-time art game with her middle child, Nathan, who is four. I really like the idea and wanted to share it with you (and try it myself). They each sit at opposite ends of the sofa with a piece of paper and a pencil and take turns directing the drawing. For example, Nathan will say,


"Draw a bulldozer," and they'll each draw one on their paper. Then Rachel will say, "Draw a mountain," and they'll each draw that. They don't look at each other's drawings until they've both filled their page and are finished with the drawing session.

Here's a sample of one of Nathan's drawings, above, and one of Rachel's, below, both from the same session.

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One of the reasons Rachel started this game with Nathan is that he seemed to lack confidence in his own drawing ability, especially around his big brother. This was both a way for her to connect with Nathan while big brother was at school and also a low-key way to encourage his own drawing.

DrawingGame_JV_4

While Nathan often compared his drawings unfavorably with his brother's, he doesn't seem to have any of the same hang ups about seeing his drawings and his mother's side by side after their drawing sessions.

I'd love to try this with Maia soon. Not that she's comparing her drawings to an older sibling, but simply because I think it would be a fun, quiet-time art game.



 
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  1. says

    Love this! My 5yrold son similarly compares his work to 8yrold BIG brother. Can’t wait to try this…such beautiful ‘side by side’ pictures too…thanks.

  2. says

    Oh this has come at a perfect time. I have a hard time getting my 4 year old to draw anything. He usually scribbles a few circles and then asks me t draw for him.

  3. says

    Love this — we could get (almost) the whole family doing it together. What a nice way to connect and create. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Very cute! I’m thinking I could even try something more simple with my 3 year old- shapes and various lines etc. May even be fun to pass the paper back and forth and add to each other’s drawings!

  5. stacia says

    I recently did something similar to this on a long car ride with my 3 year old (when I wasn’t the driver). I would draw a shape on a piece of paper and pass it to him, then he would add to the drawing and pass it to me. we would go back and forth adding to the drawing until he deemed it finished. Also great for waiting in line and at restaurants.

  6. Jessica Flowers says

    I love this! Maybe this will help Luke’s hangups about his drawing abilities as well. Thanks Jean!

  7. says

    This is a great idea. My 4 year old seems to have no confidence in drawing. he always says he can’t do it, despite my best encouragements, maybe this would inspire him.

  8. says

    my father did this with me often when I was a child and really helped me develop my artist ability as well as create many fond memories of our time together. sometime he would also have me draw and abstract shape of lines, then he would take these and complete it by making it into another picture, then we would switch sides. It helped me to develop creativity.

  9. says

    We took inspiration from this and did it as a whole family! We all drew monsters, and each of us took turns calling out what we wanted added to the monsters. There were instructions like “five striped horns,” “hair anywhere you like,” “as many eyes as you can fit,” “give your monster a pet.” This was definitely not a quiet time activity for us, but it was so fun, and comparing our monsters at the end was great!