Many kids dread art because they think it is going to be too difficult or something they won’t be good at. The trick is to find activities that make them feel more confident and less anxious about their artistic abilities.
You can encourage even the most reluctant artists with these drawing games for your art class.
Whether you’re in art class or at home with your kids, these drawing games are the perfect way to build confidence, encourage creativity and improve motor skills while having fun! Read on for more information and awesome ideas!
1) Slow Pictionary
You can start by using regular Pictionary game cards or by writing down your own ideas on slips of paper for your class.
Here are some word ideas that you can edit and print out to get you started.
The free printable (in the link above) also includes score cards for each team.
Draw one line at a time until your teammate guesses what it is. Count how many lines you used, and that is your score.
Play with 4 – 6 people in teams of 2. OPTIONAL – If you are playing with a class, you can rotate who each team plays against after each round. Or keep the same group of teams and see which pair has the lowest score at the end of 4 rounds.
The team with the lowest score wins.
2) Scribble Challenge
2 people make scribbles on the page and then exchange paper. Try to make something out of the scribble you were given.
If you are playing this game in an art class, you can add additional challenges like picking a theme, adding a time limit, challenging them to add a pattern or certain colors, etc.
When the drawings are finished, go on a “gallery walk” around the room to admire the work of others.
3) 5-Dot Challenge
The 5-Dot Challenge is a drawing challenge where students start with 5 dots and have to create something using those dots. This drawing game can be played with a partner or as a class activity. This drawing game is great because you can set any rule set for the game. You might want to give each team a theme, or you can let the students choose their own theme. Any theme you choose can help students with their drawing skills.
Have students put 5 dots on the page, then exchange papers with a partner. Set a time limit, then see what the other person can turn your 5 dots into. The 5-Dot Challenge is a game that can be played multiple times with different rules each time.
4) Animal Shape Challenge
Each person draws a shape on the page and then exchanges papers. (Pass papers to one side if you have more than 2 players.) The other person has to make an animal using only that same shape repeated. They can pick any animal.
For example, a cat that is made of triangles.
5) Blindfold Drawing
Study an object, then try drawing that object blindfolded. Take turns with your partner so they can help you if needed.
Another option is to stick your pencil through a paper plate. Position your hand under the plate with the pencil touching the paper so that you can’t see what you are drawing. Then you can look at something while you draw it. Imagine your eye following the contour of that object and moving your hand along with your eyes.
6) Drawing on my Back Challenge
Use a marker that won’t soak through the paper.
Here’s the set-up: Player 1 faces the wall and draws on a piece of paper taped or held on the wall. Player 2 draws on a piece of paper on Player 1’s back.
How to play: Player 2 makes one mark or shape on the paper on Player 1’s back. Player 1 has to imagine what is drawn by the way it feels and draws the same line on the paper on the wall. This continues one line or shape at a time until the drawing is finished. Compare drawings and have a good laugh!
7) Team Drawing
For this game, you will rotate papers or seats, and each person will add to the drawing. Continue drawing and exchanging papers until you get your original picture back.
If you are playing with one other person, you can just exchange papers. If you are drawing with 3 or more people, you can all sit at a table and then rotate seats until you are finished. You can play with a timer and allow 1 minute for each turn drawing, or you can play where each people adds just one line to make a line drawing.
When kids collaborate, they are more likely to learn from each other as well as build off each other’s ideas.
8) Picture Telephone
This game is best with 5-6 players.
You can use this free editable template that has room for writing and drawing.
Cut the paper down the middle and tape the 2 pieces together so that you have an extra long piece of paper.
Write your name at the bottom of the page and write a silly phrase or saying at the top of the page. Pass your paper to the right so that everyone has a new piece of paper. Illustrate the saying in the box below the writing, then fold over the writing so that the next person can’t see the writing.
What do I mean by a “silly phrase”? Anything that is unlikely to happen that would be fun and easy to draw. Here are some examples that will get you thinking.
- a turkey driving a bus
- a frog eating pizza (or a frog-eating pizza … lol)
- playing cards on a surfboard
- a book that can fly
The next person looks at your drawing, writes what they think the phrase is, and then folds that paper so that your drawing is covered. This continues until you get your original paper back with your name at the bottom.
Open up the paper and have a good laugh.
Be sure to share the results with others.
9) Expressive Monkey Roll & Draw Game –
Print a Roll & Draw page from Expressive Monkey’s website. You’ll also need a die or dice, paper, and pencils.
You can even find a free virtual dice roller here.
Expressive Monkey has a variety of free Roll & Draw pages along with affordable larger sets of drawing pages.
You can see all the Roll & Draw lessons here.
Summing it Up
As an art instructor, you know the importance of keeping class fun and engaging. This can be difficult when you have several different skill levels in one classroom. That’s why including a variety of drawing games for your students can encourage all students to draw. When your students get involved, they will feel more confident in their artistic abilities. And that is crucial for any student, particularly if they’re just starting out.
What drawing games have your kids enjoyed?
Let us know in the comments.
Don’t forget to download the template to play Pictonary and Picture Telephone here.
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.
You can read more about 3 Rules to Break to Encourage Reluctant Drawers in this blog post.
Join my email list to hear about new resources, sales, and tips for teaching art and drawing, and get 15% off your next order!
Continue the conversation in my FB group of art teachers: