10 Drawing Ideas for Kids

A drawing activity is a great option for an indoor afternoon with the family because it requires just a few simple supplies, the cleanup is typically quick and easy, and the creative options are practically endless. Drawing can help the littlest artists practice their motor skills or can encourage teenagers to refine their skills. If your young illustrator has hit a rut lately, take a glance through the ideas below to initiate a fresh, original drawing session sure to create refrigerator-worthy pieces of art.

1. Watercolor Zentangle Hearts

While a watercolor background helps these patterned hearts pop, you could easily forego any painting in this project and simplify it to a black-and-white drawing (and eliminate messy clean up while you’re at it) or use crayons or markers to color in the doodles. If you’re not familiar with Zentangle drawing, it’s a method that focuses on a repeated structured pattern to bring a sense of relaxation to the artist, which can be especially beneficial for kids. There are tons of online resources to help you get started with Zentangle art, including this tutorial from Color Made Happy. 

2. Doodle Art

If you’re looking for a super simple drawing project that will also keep your little artists entertained for hours, try this clever doodle art. Challenge kids to create a single-line scribble/swirl using a thick black marker, then fill each organically-created shape with a different color, texture, or pattern. 

3. Exquisite Corpse Group Drawing

Don’t be turned off by the morbid name of this classic drawing activity, it’s actually totally appropriate (and highly enjoyable) for kids. You can print a template to get this group drawing started, but folding a plain sheet of paper works just fine too. Encourage kids to think outside the box on this one to come up with some truly surprising characters. 

4. Optical Illusion Drawing

To help kid drawers begin to understand how to create three-dimensional art, teach them this simple optical illusion technique. To really achieve that dynamic, looks-like-it’s-moving effect, be sure to darken each color at its edges (this is a great activity to emphasize the importance of shadows and highlights in drawing as well). 

5. Observational Drawing

One of the great lessons in creating realistic drawings is to draw what you see, as opposed to what you think an object looks like. Arrange a still life (or better yet, have your little artists scout out their own scene to draw), and encourage kids to draw from observation. This is a great activity to do timed drawings for: try a quick sketch in three minutes, a second draft in ten, and a finished drawing in an hour. 

6. Rainbow Scratch Art

Using just plain crayons, kids can create original scratch art. It’s best to use a thick sheet of drawing paper for this activity; it’ll need to stand up to two layers of crayon and a scratched-in image (try an open paperclip for an easy scratching tool). 

7. Hand Tracing Ideas

Light years away from the tried-and-true hand-traced turkey, these clever tracing ideas will help kids get their creativity flowing. From filling with a pattern to creating an optical illusion, a hand outline is the perfect blank slate template for an imaginative drawing. 

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