With so many unique and elaborate art projects and drawing ideas on the internet, parents can feel overwhelmed, especially if they have kids who are not naturally drawn to artistic pursuits. That's why it's essential to have simple and easy drawing ideas for kids. When life feels particularly hectic your kids can reach for a sketchbook or journal and calm down with simple, meditative and creative drawing ideas.
Learning how to draw and find enjoyment in sketching has so many benefits, too! It helps kids develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, builds the imagination and nourishes creativity. Not every child will grow up to be a fine artist, but they will all benefit from putting crayon to paper every day!
The following simple drawing ideas suggestions are so versatile that most of them can be done by beginners and no need for complicated step-by-step instructions. Simple guidelines are all that is required.
I've put the easy drawing ideas into two categories, below. In the first set all you'll need is paper and drawing implement of your choice. The second group of art projects includes ideas that require one or two common household items.
Easy Drawing Ideas with Just Pen and Paper:
Crayons, colored pencils, charcoal, oil pastels, markers. Use whatever drawing medium you have on hand! Add paper and a kid and voilá, you have art in the making. Note: the underlined, orange text is a link to learn more about the art idea.
Tracing the hand. My son loved the sensory experience of outlining his hand with a pencil! Because the art activity put all the focus on him and his own body, it enticed him into further art exploration. That's proof that when you follow the child's interest, you'll have a better chance of success!
Zentangle inspired art journal page. This easy art project is perfect for relaxing. It is one of my favorite drawing projects ever and we've dedicated dozens of art journal and sketchbook pages to zentangles. Our version emphasizes an almost total lack of rules and my child loved it!
Single color drawing. Sometimes kids can feel overwhelmed by all the media and instructions that come with complicated art project. Creating art with just a single color is great for beginners and experts, alike! For us, confining an art project to a single color took off a lot of the pressure to create a finished project and instead and helped keep the focus on the artistic process. I have a few more ideas with different media, not just markers or crayons, so click on that link to learn more.
Draw from a new perspective. You don't always need to sit upright in a chair at a table to start drawing! Switching things up perspective-wise and drawing from different angles can help keep things interesting and prompt artistic exploration.
Body tracing. Like the hand tracing, this art project was further proof of something every parent knows: kids love to focus on themselves! Plus, this art idea might even lead to a self-portrait!
Tandem Drawing. This two person drawing game could not be easier! And it is wonderful for connecting with your child in a relaxed atmosphere. There is zero expectation to draw something representational and all you need is a sheet of paper and two willing participants. Be sure to watch our video for a simple tutorial.
Changing Bodies. Changing bodies is a drawing game that will send any artist into a fit of giggles! You might know it in it's original form as "exquisite corpse," but our version is perfect for beginners.
More ideas from other websites I love:
Mystery drawing game. This easy drawing idea is perfect for when kids have to hang around in waiting rooms! (Mama Smiles)
Shadow tracing (The Artful Parent) This project finishes up with watercolors, but that is optional.
Draw around a hole (The Artful Parent). I love the creativity and problem-solving involved in this project. Jean has lots of helpful and easy tips to getting your kid to draw more and try out different techniques.
Simple Drawing Ideas with a Easy-to-Find Item
Sometimes the introduction of a non-traditional art item can stimulate the creative imagination and convince reluctant artists to try something new, even though they might not naturally be drawn to artistic pursuits. Here are some of my favorite ideas that we have tried at home and enjoyed.
Colored dot prompt (JDaniel4's Mom). This is so fun and is an extension project for the picture book, An Orange in January. Essentially, kids paste a large colored circle onto a paper and use it as a drawing prompt.
Drawing prompt with blocks (Learn with Play at Home). You can use blocks in different ways. As traceable objects, landscapes to be copied or as shape prompts.
Drawing with bunches (Learn with Play at Home) Bundle up a collection of same or differently colored markers with a rubber band! This is a great idea for kids (like mine) who like to "go against the rules.
Drawing prompt with LEGO (Kids Steam Lab). Everyone has LEGO and a pile of bricks is an excellent source of inspiration!
Draw on a map! (PickleBums) I absolutely love this idea. Get some old maps and let the kids go to town. Maybe it will inspire them to draw their own map from scratch!
More fun art projects: