Twenty-five creative drawing ideas for kids

Creativity Jul 03, 2020

Drawing is a great activity for kids anytime of year. With only a writing utensil and a stack of paper, the options are endless.

The benefits of drawing are myriad: kids can develop their fine motor skills, learn how to express themselves visually, and find their creative voice. They can translate new worlds from their imagination onto paper, and they can learn about the world they live in as they try to capture it in their drawings. Simple drawing activities can teach kids about world cultures, foreign languages, and art history.

25 Drawing ideas for kids

Not sure what to draw? Below is a list of twenty five different creative drawing activities and drawing prompts for kids.

Figures (real and imaginary)

Go as simple or as detailed as you like with faces and figures. Once you’ve mastered a few basics, though, the options for what kinds of characters and figures kids can draw are endless.

  • People: Move beyond stick figures and try to draw a person. To keep it simple, start with faces, and kids can learn to use their basic shapes to draw eyes, noses, ears, and mouths.
  • Superheroes: Always dreamed of drawing your own comic? Give Superman and Wonder Woman a shot by trying to draw your favorite superheroes.
  • Monsters: Practice shape, line, and color by drawing simple monsters. Kids can use their imagination to determine things like how many eyes and limbs their monsters have.
  • Supernatural creatures: Maybe it’s close to halloween and you want to draw a few ghosts, or maybe you’ve just finished watching Vampirina and now want to try to draw your own vampires. Either way, using the basic shapes applies to these creatures as well.

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Animal kingdom

Sketching animals is a great way for kids to keep learning about the animal kingdom, and can often be paired with animal books, too.

  • Animals: Always wanted to know how to draw a rabbit, bird, cat, dog or tiger? Using basic shapes, kids will learn how to draw these five animals!
  • Insects: Some kids love insects. Help them learn about different types of bugs in the process of drawing one.
  • Butterflies: Another chance for kids to get creative with color and patterns. Kids can follow a step by step to draw their own, or even add color through watercolor.

Nature

The options are endless in nature, where kids can go outside to find a still life to sketch in the yard, a park, or even in the woods.

  • Trees: Encourage kids to go outside and look at a nearby tree up close as a model, and then challenge them to draw the same tree while viewing it from a window in your home. In this exercise, they can also learn about shapes, proportions, and form.
  • Flowers: Georgia O'Keeffe was a master of flowers, and kids can practice drawing flowers of their own like the famous artist.
  • Fruit: Using one of the many famous fruit bowls from art history, give this a shot on your own. You can use Picasso’s 1918 fruit bowl as a model, or, use the fruit in your own kitchen! If you want to get really creative, try cutting a piece of fruit open and drawing the inside, too.
  • Feathers: This is a great one to allow kids to get creative with color. Once they get the basic shape down, they can do almost anything with the design and pattern inside.
Young boy drawing in his bedroom at home

Everyday Objects

Turn the everyday items around you into art by drawing the different things you see in the house or the neighborhood.

  • Houses: You can start with where you live! Go outside, and using knowledge of basic shapes, try to recreate your home on paper.
  • Cars: Kids can learn some of the basic parts of a car (like the wheels and body) and draw one of their own.
  • Boats: Interested in water or love being by the ocean? Try drawing a boat using just a few basic shapes. A sailboat is a great place to start: With the page turned vertically, kids can sketch a large letter D. Then flip the page horizontally, and this is the bottom of the boat. Add one or two simple triangles to the top to create the outline of a simple sailboat.
  • Bridges: Like many of these, this is a great one to work on fine motor skills and small detail in drawing. If you need more specific drawing ideas for bridges, reference photos of iconic bridges—such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge—for inspiration.
  • Musical instruments: If you have one in the house, kids can trace it onto the paper or set it up to use as a model for the drawing.
  • Sports equipment: Drawing simple things like baseballs and basketballs can help kids master shapes and form. Plus, this is a great drawing project for the athlete in your house.
  • Everyday household items: This is another way for kids to draw from real life. Grab the tea pot or even a whisk, and try to recreate them on paper.

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Perspective: Landscapes, buildings, and scenes

Perspective drawing is a way of drawing that builds a sense of more than one dimension on the page. It makes objects feel closer or farther away and gives a drawing a perception of depth.

  • Roads: The landscape with a road converging at a vanishing point is one of the classic beginner perspective drawings. Start here as a jumping-off point to explore perspective.
  • Famous buildings: Does your child have a favorite monument or even just a favorite place in town? Visit it or use a photo to recreate the building. For more advanced artists, try drawing it in context, with perspective.
  • Mountain landscape: Learn about geography and shapes while also creating art.Historical scene: This is a great way to combine a history lesson with an art project. Read a story about a famous moment in history—the Boston Tea Party or maybe the The March on Washington—and see if kids can draw it.

Contour drawing

A contour drawing is essentially a drawing of the outline of a face or object. Contour drawing allows kids to focus on the general shape and size of something rather than all the tiny details. Some contour drawing involves outlining an object in one single stroke—without ever lifting the pencil or pen from the paper.

  • Hands and feet: Young artists can start by tracing their hands and feet, while more advanced kids can contour their hands.
  • Keys: Another fun one for fine motor skills and tracing, and definitely something you already have around the house.
  • Blind contour drawing: Blind contour takes contour drawing a step further: you draw the outline of an object without looking at the paper while you’re doing it. This practice improves hand-eye coordination, as it forces kids to focus on what they observe about the object itself, rather than scrutinizing what they’re putting on the page.

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