Thursday, August 11, 2016

Drawing Variations

Kids love to draw. They love using all kinds of different materials to make marks on paper. Sometimes, because it is such a familiar activity, we may not see how valuable this type of activity can be. And, sometimes changing things up a little can interject some additional creativity into these materials. 
In our Art Camp this summer, we had a drawing day. These are a few "variations" that we added to using crayons, markers, and pencils.

Pastels at the Easel
Sometimes using a little different medium can grab the attention of children. We used some pastels from Discount School Supply; these pastels were like brighter and smoother crayons. We used them at the easel with our regular manila paper. I had placed a full length mirror beside the easel and suggested children draw self-portraits.

These pastels were a hit. While they didn't seem radically different from crayons to me, the children did seem to think they were "better." 

They enjoyed them so much we left them at the easel for the next day of camp. One girl spent a long time creating drawings and went back several times to make other drawings, too. A little different medium creates some drawing variation.

Complete the Picture
We printed pictures of animals from online. Well, half a picture. We placed the half pictures on a table with some charcoal pencils (another different medium). Several kids looked at this activity and felt challenged by it. So challenged that they passed it up.

The brave few worked to complete the animal pictures. I wouldn't call this an unqualified success. But I would like to try this idea with some different types of pictures and with some different groups of children. This activity was definitely a variation for our kids.

Eyes Picture
This activity is kind of related to the complete the picture activity. I placed a pair of eyes on each piece of paper. The eyes were randomly placed. (We used eye stickers from Discount School Supply; you could use wiggle eyes from the craft store, too.) 

Children were challenged to incorporate the eyes into a drawing. Some ignored the eyes and just drew what they wanted; or they would draw what they wanted and add something to make the eyes make sense.

Others drew a face or figure with the eyes. This face/figure would be small at the eyes' location. Then they drew other things - things that may or may not relate to the face.

But one boy looked at the paper and embraced the challenge. He drew a person that incorporated the eyes completely. 

This activity is definitely one I'll do again. I'd like to try adding other types of things to the page for children to incorporate - paper or sticker shapes or random squiggles already on the paper. I think these variations help kids think beyond what they may normally do.

Drawing is a fun way to express yourself. And drawing is a form of writing. Drawing - putting marks on a page - does communicate ideas from one person to another. 

And the ideas I've been seeing are worth sharing!


  1. Our kids love to draw. We have a "graffiti wall" where we have paper on the wall. I'll definitely adopt some of these ideas. Thank you for sharing!

  2. We also taped paper under a table and kids laid on their backs and drew above their heads. (I didn't really have pics of it.) They loved it.