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Drawing Prompts for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
July 20, 2012
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Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids Drawing Prompts

Have you used drawing prompts with your kids? As one way to encourage creative drawing and the continued use of our chalkboard, I occasionally add a drawing prompt and wait for Maia, Daphne and their friends to find it.

It almost always results in a thoughtful, unique drawing that veers from the usual drawings that I see them make.

Drawing prompts are one of many creative drawing ideas for kids that gets them thinking and creating differently.

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The drawing prompts idea is something I’ve borrowed from Susan Striker’s Anti-Coloring Book series —I had one as a child! —and now the many doodle books out there. (By the way, you can find several printable pages from the Anti-Coloring Books as well as examples of what children have drawn on her website.)

Creative Drawing Prompts for Kids - Houses

What I do is begin a simple drawing on the chalkboard, and add an invitation —in this case, the question, “What is inside this house?” And then I go about my day.

Before too long, Maia notices the drawing prompt and (usually) begins to complete the drawing and answer the question or prompt in her own way. I LOVE seeing how this unfolds and love seeing the results!

Maia has drawn lots of houses, but always the exterior. With this prompt about the interior, she and Marlise drew and talked, talked and drew, until they had a house filled with furniture, people, and stories. (Working nearby and listening to their imaginations run wild as they talk and play is one of my favorite things to do.)

Would she have drawn the interior without my chalkboard prompt?

Maybe. Eventually.

For another drawing prompt, I drew five large circles/ovals on the chalkboard with the directive to “Finish the faces.”

Fill in the Faces Drawing Prompt for Kids on Paper or Chalkboard

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces

Maia enthusiastically drew in the facial features she has learned from Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Faces. She used some variation (eyes and hair style are different on each) and some repetition (noses and mouths are the same, albeit different colors). This was interesting for me to see, especially as she wasn’t referring to the book as she drew.

Having the prompt definitely got her thinking and drawing in a new-to-her way. It helped her to expand out of her self-defined drawing habits and ideas and try something different.

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Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids - Why You Should Offer Drawing Prompts

There are lots of other ways to encourage creative drawing and thinking. Here are some ideas that we use:

More Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids

Do you have any other drawing prompts to add to the list? Please share in the comments!

Have you tried any of these with your kids? If so, did you notice a difference in how and what they drew? Did you feel it took them outside of their usual repertoire and helped them to think and draw more creatively?

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