This week it’s back to the basics of paper and pencil. Children really enjoy making up their own characters – with their boundless imagination, the results are always fabulously creative. Here, the idea is to get your kids to make a character creation and then work backwards to create a step-by-step “how to draw a…” (fill-in-the-blank character).
For children who enjoy putting pencil to paper, this is an activity that can absorb an afternoon. It’s also great for siblings (the older sibling can make the “how to” for the younger sibling) or for friend pairs (they can swap character ideas). I never leave the house without a sketchbook and pens, so this is a perfect activity for sitting at the restaurant table waiting for the food to arrive.
The sketches below are simple examples to get the ideas flowing. The first sketch ,which is of a bunny dreaming of his favorite things, was created by a 9 year old. The fuzzy alien at the end is from a 7 year old. Here’s a great illustrator’s trick: Outline the final drawing in a thicker black line to hold the elements together in a stronger composition.
Supplies: Paper, pens, pencils, markers
Ages: Any age to draw! But 6+ to create their own “How To’s”
Time: from 5 minutes to an afternoon
Have on hand for next Friday’s project:
All varieties of cardboard, especially with colors, patterns, writing. Colored paper or old magazines that can be cut apart. Scissors, glue (rubber cement or glue sticks)
Curious Jane, founded by contributor Samantha Razook Murphy, offers project-based after-school programs and summer camps, revolving around creativity in the arts and sciences.