6 Creative Drawing Ideas for Kids

February 11, 2018

6 Creative Drawing Ideas For Kids

In this post you will find 6 creative drawing ideas for kids!  Budding artists will be inspired to get creative with drawing and express their ideas in a visual way.   Is it possible to teach creativity?  I think so.  Using the ideas in this post,  my students learn how to be creative problem solvers.

Creative drawing idea #1:

experiment with lines, shapes and colors 

  Kids can create art that simply uses lines, shapes and colors in a creative way.  This is called non-objective art. 

Creative drawing ideas for kids. Use shape tracers to get a drawing started.

 Young artists can learn about the basics of art with this activity. I start the year off with non-objective art for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. 

In addition, artists of all ages can loosen up and get creative with their art materials with this activity. Older kids often get hung up on making art look “realistic”. When kids create non-objective art, they can experiment with lines, shapes, and colors without having to focus on portraying an object.

Work in layers to create handcrafted paper 

Start by filling the paper with lines.  Use crayon, pastel, markers, or anything you can find to make a mark.  Next add a layer of watercolor paint on top. Some of the lines will show through and some will blur. You can also add cut paper scraps.  There really are no rules here.  Just have fun, loosen up, and layer up the supplies ! 

You can use handcrafted paper as a background for cut up photos or drawings.  You can use it for cards, collage, or any time you need some extra fancy paper for a project. 

My secret is that I still love to work this way, even as an adult artist!


Creative drawing idea #2:

Play around with mistakes!

I always make mistakes when creating art and so do my students!  It’s just part of the creative process.  Sometimes turning mistakes into part of an artwork can make it even better!  The book, Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzburg, shows how to use unexpected marks in art. 

In this activity, each student gets a paper with a “mistake” on it. Students then turn this “problem” into something beautiful!  I am always surprised at how creative kids can be with this activity.  You can read the full post and get started here.

Creativity exercises to get kids started drawing. Inspired by The Beautiful Oops, by Barney Saltzberg, kids learn how to transform a mistake into something beautiful. A great activity for teaching creative problem solving skills. A fun and simple introduction to drawing and creativity for kids!


Creative Drawing Idea #3

Draw on top of a shape collage

Another creative drawing idea is to draw on top of cut out shapes. I find that having a few simple construction paper shapes as a starting point can help kids to draw more detailed, complex drawings.

For example, kids start a still life with simple collage shapes as seen here.

teacher sample

Then, artists will draw their own original details right on top of the paper shapes. You can find an easy tutorial of this lesson here.

teacher sample


Creative Drawing Idea #4:

Use shape tracers to get a drawing Started

Another creative drawing idea is to use shape tracers to start a drawing.  Kids can use shape tracers to help them transform their ideas into drawings.  Young artists have the most success at drawing when they begin to use simple shapes to build their images on paper. 

When kids use shape tracers, it helps them to break down images they want to draw into simple shapes.  Once they have the first few shapes traced they can begin to add details to their design free hand.  I use old plastic lids and shapes cut out of card board and tag board for tracers. 

My first grade students made some very creative bird designs.  They used the shape tracers for the body and head of the bird.  They could also use them for the wing and tail.  Kids drew the rest of the details freehand, from their imagination.

Creative drawing ideas for kids. Use shape tracers to get a drawing started


Kids can trace shape pattern blocks as a creative drawing activity that links to math concepts (think geometry).  After tracing a shape, they will decide what those shapes will be.  

Dayle Ann Dodds shows how everything is made of shapes in the book, The Shape of Things.  This book is a great companion to this activity.

Creative drawing ideas for kids. Use shape tracers to get a drawing started.

Find more lessons that use shape tracers here:

Make a Still Life to Celebrate a Special Day

Multimedia Self Portraits for Kindergarten Artists

Creative Drawing Idea #5

Use Creative Drawing Prompts

 Drawing prompts can inspire kids to draw!  This simply means that they will illustrate a verbal idea you give them.  Or, you may ask a question and they will respond with a drawing.   You can also give them a start to a drawing, which they can complete in their own creative way.  There are lots of printable drawing prompts available.   

  Get started with creative drawing prompts here:

Art Journal Starter Kit: Inspiring Kids to Draw from The Painterly Path

Free Printable Drawing Prompts from Picklebums

Free Printable Drawing Challenge Cards also from Picklebums!

10 Free Printable Drawing Prompts from Totschooling

Creative Drawing Idea # 6

Build It,  Draw It!

Kids are inspired to draw when using 3D forms!  They can build with modeling clay, Legos, blocks, play dough, etc. to get their ideas going.  Once they have their structure built, they can record it with a drawing.  So this is a bit of creative drawing and observational drawing combined! 

Fun tip: Kids can use figurines or toy animals for inspiration while building!

  I’m always impressed with the ideas kids come up with when they are working with 3D forms!



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