What makes Roll & Draw activities so good at building confidence in a drawing beginner?
And by the way, we are not just talking about kids here! Roll & Draw pages are a fun activity for beginning drawers of any age!
Make it Fun!
The gaming element of a Roll & Draw page is probably the first thing to get your students’ attention. Something about the mystery of what the final drawing will look like hooks them right away. During the Roll & Draw activity, students will roll a die (or dice) to determine the design of each part of the drawing. For example, the number they roll might select which of the six different styles of eyes they will add to their picture.
The mystery and fun factor of a Roll & Draw page also drive students to try more than one drawing. And as we all know, the more you practice something, the easier it gets.
Sneak in a Drawing Strategy
An essential ingredient in my Roll & Draw pages is teaching students how to break an image into lines and shapes that simplify the drawing process and help them achieve success.
Designing the Roll & Draw pages, I think about how I want a beginning drawer to approach the drawing and break things down into shapes. I prefer using simple lines (lines that you can name as you draw them, such as curved lines, straight lines, diagonal lines, etc.) and recognizable shapes, such as ovals, triangles, or rectangles.
A well-designed Roll & Draw page will show students which parts of the drawing to draw first, second, third, and so on so that each piece builds on the other.
If there is a basic drawing that students should do first, such as some simple shapes for a head or body, I show students that first, at the top of the page so that once they draw the basic shapes with a pencil, then they can add the details with the Roll & Draw activity.
Get Unique Results
The diversity of outcomes is the beauty of the Roll & Draw! A vital component of the Roll & Draw pages that help build students’ confidence is that their work does not look like the teacher’s drawing or anyone else’s work. The variety of results takes the pressure off a drawing beginner to recreate something exactly and leaves the door open to a more expressive interpretation of the design ideas from the Roll & Draw page.
Draw Fun Things
An important factor in engaging your students is the topic. Giving students a drawing activity where they can choose from some fun topics will help motivate students to get started. That is why my animal Roll & Draw pages are always a crowd pleaser! Children naturally love animals and are curious about them. They also love drawing animals and collecting animal drawings in their sketchbooks, like collecting stickers.
Make it Work for You
Are you wondering how to use Roll & Draw pages with your children or students? Here are some ideas for how you might integrate some drawing with Roll & Draw pages into your classroom or home. Are you wondering how to use Roll & Draw pages with your children or students? Here are some ideas for how you might integrate some drawing with Roll & Draw pages into your classroom or home.
In the Classroom
Integrating Art into Units
Make drawing a fun part of a unit of study. For example, if you study arctic animals or woodland animals, look for a drawing resource that aligns with what you are learning. Use your students’ drawings to cover animal reports or creative writing and add interest to your hallway displays.
Use the comment area to suggest ideas for future roll & draw pages.
Offer drawing choices along with board games and other indoor recess activities. Keep blank drawing paper and basic art supplies in a container with the Roll & Draw pages like you would a board game or other activity. Encourage students to add a background to their drawings.
Recognizing numbers on a die (or dice) is a math skill that the roll & draw activity can reinforce. I’ve also received feedback from a teacher that drawing has helped improve her students’ handwriting by developing their fine motor skills.
TIP: If you want to make this activity a little quieter, look for foam dice.
In the Art Room
Set up a drawing center in the art room so that students who finish early have drawing choices that will continue to build art skills during their “free time.”
TIP: put your dice (one at a time) in a see-through plastic container so that students can shake the container to roll the dice. That way, your dice don’t get lost. Also, use foam dice to cut down on the noise.
Roll & Draw pages are great at the beginning of a lesson when you want students to generate lots of ideas before settling on a final design or picture.
Have a library of drawing books and drawing pages that students can reference when they need an idea or don’t know how to draw something. You can add a copy of each Roll & Draw page to a binder using page protectors to preserve the pages. Then, students can flip through the binders or remove just the page they need.
Whether you are a homeschool parent or a parent of a creative kid, you can use the Roll & Draw pages at home.
Many homeschool parents struggle to find art activities or don’t feel confident teaching art lessons. The Roll & Draw pages make teaching drawing super easy! The lessons practically teach themselves! When your kids finish the Roll & Draw
Work in some art concepts by:
- Adding a horizon line.
- Mix 2 primary colors to get a secondary color.
- Showing space by adding something far away in the background.
- Showing space by overlapping two objects.
If you want to learn more about the elements of art, here is a simple lesson resource.
Family Drawing Night
Like game night, your family might enjoy an art night or drawing night. So get out the markers, crayons, colored pencils, and paper. And don’t forget some roll & draw pages to get your drawings started. Once you’ve made your drawings, make up funny or unusual backgrounds and settings. See how you can stretch your imagination and add props or other elements to the picture.
When you finish drawing, take turns making up a story that goes along with the pictures as you share them aloud. Sharing your drawings is sure to be a memorable experience for your children and a great way to connect with them and have some laughs.
Tip: IF you don’t have dice handy, you can roll a virtual dice right here!
After School Activity
It’s a great practice to set aside an hour or so each evening for homework. Then, on the nights your children don’t have homework, give them a choice of some other learning activities instead, such as reading, practicing music, or drawing.
Put together a little art box of art supplies, drawing paper, and some Roll & Draw pages to help them get started drawing. Keeping everything together in a box will make it easy to get out and put away for a spontaneous art experience. You can create a collection of Roll & Draw pages that go in a binder or folder so they stay organized.
I like using 3-ring binders and page protectors to make a book that’s easy to flip through. For example, suppose you have a big binder and pencil holder. In that case, you could probably put together a self-contained art kit in the binder using page protectors for the drawing resources, a pencil holder for the supplies, and blank paper in a pocket of the binder.
Share what kind of art kit you put together in the comment section, or tag Expressive Monkey on your social media post.
Making Cards & Gifts
Don’t let all those good drawings go to waste; trim them up and glue them to a folded piece of colored paper or whatever paper you have to make a card. Then, have your children write a message inside, and you have a lovely keepsake for a grandparent or teacher.
You could even recycle a used card by gluing new are to the cover and gluing a paper with a message over the original message.
Whether you are a true drawing beginner or love to doodle, making simple drawings that you can feel successful about can be relaxing and rewarding. If you enjoy coloring to relax, you can add color to your picture using markers or colored pencils.
Practice shading and modeling
Your drawing can remain line drawings or colored with flat colors (no shading). But for an additional layer of interest, try adding highlights and shadows to your pictures to create some depth and form. You can also experiment with overlapping colors so that your colors gradually change from one color to the next. The simple shapes of the roll & draw drawing are perfect for exploring some art techniques.
You might even try adding patterns or doodles and turn your drawing into more of a decorative piece of art. Oh, by the way, if you want some doodle ideas (don’t get me started on how much I love doodling), you can read more here:
The roll & draw activity has the unique ability to lower your students’ defenses toward drawing through the mystery of the game, relatable topics, and a low-pressure approach to drawing. A well-designed roll & draw page can also teach students appropriate drawing strategies that will help them break down a drawing into lines and shapes and see which parts of the drawing are best to draw first.
Nearly anyone that works with kids can work a drawing activity into some part of the day to help break down the barriers that are keeping your students from loving drawing.
- How might you use roll & draw pages?
- What topics are you or your students interested in?
Please share your ideas in the comment area below and also feel free to ask any questions.
Want more ideas for your Drawing Beginners?
This infographic is a good reminder that kids, especially reluctant drawers, are in a special place that requires nurturing from their art teachers to cultivate confidence and a love of drawing. This is the perfect time to celebrate their ideas more than their technique and reward their efforts more than their finished product.
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