Helping kids develop their creativity is fun, easy, and perfect for when children can’t go outside. Check out these 10 drawing ideas for kids, including making cards for family, drawing the family pet, imitating famous artists, and making self-portraits, plus ways to create an art station and display art.

Encouraging Kids To Draw

drawing ideas for kids: girls on desk looking at notebook

One of the best things about kids is that they are inherently creative. When you provide kids with a chance to let their imagination shine, the sky’s the limit. In a world that becomes increasingly digital, give kids a chance to work creatively with old-fashioned supplies such as pens, paper, and markers. Most kids love to draw, and by making creativity and drawing part of their life regularly, you will help kids develop creative habits that they will use throughout their entire lives. There are many creative drawing ideas for kids that will help nurture these habits.

The Perfect Activity for Inclement Weather

Even better, art and drawing can keep kids entertained for hours, all year round. Whether it is too hot or cold to head outside, parents can’t supervise, or kids simply don’t want to head outdoors, finding creative ways to keep them busy can make both children and parents much happier. While some kids will work on art without direction, it’s never a bad idea to have some drawing ideas for kids to keep them focused and enjoying their creative pursuits, especially when kids can’t go outside.

How Drawing Helps Kids

drawing ideas for kids: arts and crafts child close up color

Not only is drawing an enjoyable activity for kids, but it also helps them develop and grow. Drawing helps children develop their fine motor skills and helps them become more coordinated. Additionally, by drawing regularly, kids begin to see cause and effect by exploring and experimenting. For example, kids will learn what happens when they draw with a lot of pressure versus using a light pressure, or what colors blend as opposed to those that just get messy. It is an opportunity for kids to develop their knowledge of natural consequences. Working on spatial awareness and drawing skills can help students be more successful in school subjects such as art and math. By practicing tutorials, kids have a chance to observe the power of following directions and learn to do so independently.

Additionally, drawing is helpful in teaching kids to process their feelings. By using color and images, kids are able to express things they may not be able to communicate verbally. It gives them a safe place to practice sharing what is going on inside without having to do so in words. This also provides a chance to ask kids how they are feeling and what their drawings represent.

Create an Art Station

drawing ideas for kids: assorted color artwork equipment set

First things first: consider investing in some fun drawing supplies for kids. Choose crayons, markers, and colored pencils to allow kids a variety of textures and colors. For younger kids, you might consider purchasing coloring books or activities, but for older kids, a drawing pad or stack of plain white paper will do the trick.

If you have a child who wants to make many pictures or needs practice, you can hand off some old paper from the office or even junk mail for them to practice on or to have at their disposal for masterpieces that may not be keepers. For older kids or those who want to do things with a theme, a sketchbook or blank journal may come in handy.

Consider keeping all of your drawing supplies in one spot. You could dedicate a corner of a less-trafficked table and store pens, pencils, and crayons in old coffee mugs or containers. A large storage container can house paper, stickers, and other crafty supplies. By housing all of your art supplies in one area that is easily accessed, you make it easy for kids to find art supplies and entertain themselves, while also keeping the rest of the house from being overtaken by art!

Drawing Ideas for Kids

By providing your children with some options and direction for what to draw, you can keep them entertained for much longer and help them expand their abilities and ideas. Here are a few drawing ideas for kids.

Put your children to work and have them create daily menus. Ask them to draw what they had for breakfast or lunch or to create art displaying items that are going to be served for dinner. Encourage them to document delicious meals or even have them make you a visual grocery list. For more serious artists, have them set out a bowl of fruit and get to work on a classic still life – YouTube tutorials abound!

Who could be a better subject than the beloved family pet? Most animals won’t sit to have their portrait drawn, so take a photo of your dog, cat, fish, or other pet and have your child draw it. They can add colors, outfits, or silly hairdos for even more fun!

For imaginative kids, few things are more fun than creating a comic strip. Fold a piece of paper so that it has squares (you can have your kids trace over the folds, too) and have your kids create a story. They can choose to invent characters or even envision themselves as the latest superhero! For those who fall in love with making comics, you can even order special paper with pre-made squares. This activity is especially awesome for young boys who may eschew drawing – until they realize that they can make themselves into superheroes, that is.

A great way to keep in touch with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and faraway friends is to send them art. Ask kids to create drawings to tuck into the next card you mail. Not only does it give your child something to do, but it also creates a fun surprise and bit of closeness for those who do not live near enough to regularly see your children’s art skills.

For younger children, ask them to dictate a short note when they’re done, describing the drawing or sending a greeting. For older kids, ask them to create a specific card or write an illustrated letter. This is also a great time to teach older kids how to address and mail letters and to foster a pen-pal relationship with other family members.

Another drawing idea for kids includes nature. If possible, collect flowers and leaves (or Google photos of them) and ask kids to recreate what they see. Fall is a great time to do some traditional leaf rubbings by placing leaves under the paper and gently running crayon over the surface to create the image of the leaf. This can make a beautiful Thanksgiving decoration. If your kids spend time outside, you can also encourage them to create a nature journal and sketch things they see outside. This is especially awesome for children who are into bugs, animals, and leaves.

Another cool project is studying an artist and then creating art based on their work. Encourage kids to peruse art books or check out an artist biography from the library. When they find a piece of art they like, ask them to create their own version. This is a great way to get kids to read, write, and create all in one project. To get the whole family in on the action, choose one painting or piece and have everyone create their own version and share it when they’re done. This is a great way to bond as a family on a day when everyone is trapped indoors.

drawing ideas for kids: painting and drawing tools set

Have your children imagine themselves as an animal of their dreams: make themselves a cat or a unicorn and then do the same for others. Suggest that they add special touches; for example, if they are a sports fan who loves tigers, have them create a tiger dribbling a ball down the court with their face on it. The sky is the limit, and this project is sure to bring some giggles and creative portraits.

For older kids, keeping a visual journal can be a fun challenge and a great way to hold on to meaningful events and memories. Giving your child a blank journal and new crayons, markers, or colored pencils can be a wonderful start to a vacation or a break from school. Encourage them to document every day so they can remember the big and small things they do.

Creating a self-portrait can be a memorable experience for kids. If they want an extra creative challenge, encourage them to try a Picasso-style self-portrait using photos of themselves to imitate the famous Cubism style developed by Picasso himself.

Creating usable art can be fun for kids and also makes a great gift for grandparents, aunts, and uncles. If your children want to create something for themselves, picking up a plain pair of white tennis shoes or a t-shirt and some fabric markers can provide hours of fun creating usable art that they will be proud to wear. Fun gifts for others include aprons, tote bags, t-shirts, or other items that will be keepsakes for family members.

Displaying Art Work

The only challenge of having budding artists producing work is that it can become easily overwhelming to store it. Consider creating an art box for each child to place works he or she would like to keep. Consider adding a clothesline to a wall and allowing kids to pin their pieces on the line to avoid damaging your wall. If the volume of artwork proves to be too much, ask kids to choose one thing a week that they would like to keep and encourage them to store or throw out the rest. They can also choose some favorite pieces to send away to family members.

Have Fun!

It is not necessary to have the most expensive or fancy art supplies to help kids be creative. Some blank paper and crayons can do the trick, especially when you use the drawing ideas for kids listed above. You won’t regret helping children discover their natural creativity as artists and watching them learn and grow.

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