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Doodle Cubes – Art Activity for Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
February 11, 2015

Doodle cubes are a fun art activity for kids that allows them to see how their 2D designs can translate into 3D designs. Great for spatial awareness!

Doodle Cubes Art Activity for Kids

Written by Ana Dziengel

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here on The Artful Parent today! I have been a fan of Jean’s blog well before I even knew what blogs were. Jean has inspired so many parents out there to be creative with their children (including me!) so it is a huge honor to be meeting you all today on her blog! My name is Ana and I blog at Babble Dabble Do where my focus is on science, art, engineering, and design for kids.

As a designer by trade, I am often focused on how things look in 3 dimensions. So today I’m excited to translate a 2-dimensional activity, drawing, into a 3-dimensional project with you: Doodle Cubes. Depending on the age of your children this can be as basic as drawing on our template. Or it can be as complex as trying to match up 2D pattern sections to create flowing color and form.

And doodling is such an important pastime to foster in kids. To see why scroll to the end of this post!

Plain 2-dimensional pattern turned in a 3-dimensional doodle cube.

Doodle Cubes – A Fun Drawing and Sculpture Art Activity for Kids

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Pattern for doodle cube with lines drawn in a continuous flow.

INSTRUCTIONS: How to Make the Doodle Cube

  • Step One: Print out the template for doodle cube. 

    If you are going to paint your cubes print them on card stock. If you are going to use pens you can print them on regular paper.

Pattern for doodle cube with instruction where to start drawing the lines and where to end the lines to show a continuous flow.
  • Step Two: Doodle! Or paint or draw.

    Here’s the BIG TIP: Try and start a line or color block on the tick marks along each side of the cube. This will guarantee that the lines will continue around the side of the cube and appear to flow. You can also use the letters to find the matching side of the cube.

Colored lines and shapes drawn on the doodle cube pattern.
  • Step Three: Cut it out. 

    Fold along the light lines with crisp folds and cut along the solid lines.

  • Step Four: Add glue to the tabs.

    Tuck them UNDER the cube sides and press together. Alternatively or in addition to the glue you can add tape to the sides. The cubes are delicate so parents may wish to do this step for younger children who might crush the cube while trying to glue it.

Finished colorful doodle cubes stacked up together.

You’re done! Make a few of these and explore how 2D patterns translate into 3-dimensional objects!

2D patterns translated into 3-dimensional objects!

Doodle Cubes Look Like…

On Babble Dabble Do I profile an artist, designer, scientist, or creative that comes to mind with each project we do. Doodle Cubes reminded me immediately of Superstudio.

Superstudio was an Italian architecture firm founded in the 1960s. Their work was primarily conceptual, meaning it was never actually built but instead they explored radical architectural ideas on paper. Their most famous work is The Continuous Monument, a monolithic grid structure that they proposed would circle the entire world. That’s right, the ENTIRE WORLD, in an attempt to instill unity. Pretty heavy stuff, huh? The 1960s was a great time in architecture. Designers like the members of Superstudio explored unique and impossible ideas as a way of both questioning the status quo and proposing solutions to world problems. And here’s one more reason I love Superstudio. One of their founding members, Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, was my professor when I spent a year studying in Florence!

Our Doodle Cubes reminded me of The Continuous Monument and the idea of taking simple basic forms like the grid and using them to connect and explore form and space.

A child drawing colorful lines on the doodle cube pattern.

The Power of Doodling

Do you and your kids doodle?

While doodling may seem like just a way to pass the time, I believe in the power of doodling to engage the brain.

Several research studies have been done that suggest that doodling actually helps people commit to memory the ideas that they are listening to while drawing. Doodling is said to help people retain information, foster creative thinking, and believe or not, HELP people focus. I also find doodling incredibly relaxing.

I hope you will give doodling a try with our Doodle Cubes and turn mindless sketching into a little 3D surprise!

2D patterns translated into 3-dimensional objects!

If you liked this project I hope you’ll come visit me at Babble Dabble Do where I have loads more creative ideas for kids and the young at heart! Start with our 12 Easy Art Activities for Kids post!

More Doodle Art Activities for Kids

About the Author

Ana Dziengel of Babble Dabble Do

Ana Dziengel is an architect, award-winning furniture designer, and mom blogger. In 2012 Ana left behind an architecture career to be a SAHM, professional crafter, amateur scientist, and impromptu art teacher to her three young children. She blogs at Babble Dabble Do.

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Doodle cubes are a fun art activity for kids that allows them to see how their 2D designs can translate into 3D designs. Great for spatial awareness!

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