Fact: not every kid is interested in drawing and while many lists of drawing ideas for tweens give options like using YouTube videos to learn how to draw specific objects (how to draw a bird, how to draw a house, etc.), that's not going to appeal to tweens who have little natural interest in art.
However, most tweens (ages 8-12, or thereabouts) can still find pleasure in what I call "flexible drawing ideas." In other words, these drawing ideas are perfect for kids who don't like doing still life pictures, manga, landscapes, or portraits! But kids will enjoy this type of drawing activity because they won't feel pressure to "make it look good."
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Note: to encourage your tween to keep up their artistic creativity, invest in an art journal they can call their very own and keep away from the prying eyes of adults. Our absolute favorite is this Strathmore visual mixed media journal. We have filled at least a dozen of them in our house!
Tessellations has been a favorite math art project idea in our house for many years. It is so flexible because tweens can experiment over and over with different shapes. They may prefer to begin with tried and true shapes, like star tessellations or heart tessellations, but will want to explore their own creations as well.
Watch a video to see how it's done.
If you think your kids will love exploring the intersection of math and art (and who wouldn't???) check out 21 more math art ideas here.
Shadow tracing allows kids to draw objects and create scenes without the pressure of getting the drawing "right." This easy drawing idea for tweens can be done outside on a sunny day or inside with a strong light source.
- Set up
Place a large piece of white paper on a flat surface. Arrange found objects so that the light source casts their shadows on the paper.
Using a pencil or pen, trace the outline of the shadows.
Ambitious tweens can use colored pencils, markers, or paint to further complete their drawing, if desired.
Object suggestions include toy animals, dolls, and blocks. Other household items that case interesting shadows (think jars, candleholders, utensils) may provide a fun introduction into creating abstract art.
Here's a video demonstrating the technique with a preschooler. Obviously tweens will want to adapt it to suit their interest level.
I've shared how relaxing and freeing it is to do tangle drawing with younger kids (Click here to read about how to do zentangles with preschool-2nd graders). However, it is also a wonderful, independent drawing idea for tweens.
My pal, Jeanette of Craftwhack has a great post about easy tangle drawing here, as well as the how-to video below.
Yep, this funny drawing game with the funny name is the perfect drawing activity for tweens. It can be done solo or with friends for twice the giggles.
Here's how to do it:
Melted Crayon Drawing
This is drawing idea that is often promoted as an idea for younger kids, but it is actually a wonderful art project for tweens, especially because parents won't have to supervise as intensely as they would with small children. Drawing with melted crayons does involve a hot surface so use your best judgement and teach your kids good safety protocol before they get started.
Melted crayon drawings are more likely to be abstract, design-y and experimental because it is not possible to obtain the same level of detail as with pencil or pen. Again, this takes the pressure off young artists to draw something recognizable.
The physical sensation of drawing with something that is melting away adds an interesting an intriguing sensory experience to the activity.
Place a sheet of paper (finger paint paper works really well, if you have it) on a hot plate set on low heat. Alternatively, you can heat up a baking tray, although it will loose its heat fairly quickly once taken out of the oven. Here's a fun video to show you this drawing idea for tweens works.
More ideas here: