I’ve always loved to draw as a kid. All kids do. While growing up, their curiosity into trying new things and what their hands can create grows with them. Drawing games that came in coloring or activity books were my favorites. Especially connecting the dots! I loved it.
They might not look like it, but these are very simple games that actually help our perception and to develop our drawing skills.
And the best thing is, you don’t actually have to run all bookstores to try and find interesting activity and drawing books for your kids. You can make them up, helping your children get more creative and into drawing!
That’s why I’ve created this post.
The drawing ideas and prompts are written below, split up into each age group:
- Drawing Ideas for Toddlers
- Drawing Ideas for Preschoolers – 3 to 5-Year-Olds
- Drawing Ideas for 5 to 10-Year-Olds
- Drawing Ideas for Tweens – 10 to 13-Year-Olds
- Drawing Ideas for Teens – 13 to 19-Year-Olds
And some other topics for Special Needs children, drawing prompts for Everyone, themes, and ideas for Drawing Competitions and Drawing Games for Kids! I really wanted to have all of those covered here.
So take a look and I’m sure you’ll find something that fits your needs!
But first, let’s talk about some of the drawing benefits for children and how you can better (and more easily) teach them how to draw.
Drawing Benefits for Children of Any Age
Drawing can bring so many benefits for children of any age!
Not just increasing their fun and happiness, but things like dexterity, imagination and more.
So let’s talk about what’s so good about drawing.
Improves Visual Analysis
When drawing, everyone needs to take a look at the subject they are drawing.
On a day to day basis, if you’re not an artist or simply have no interest in any type of artistic skill, you won’t notice a lot of things around you. It is normal.
When learning how to draw, we learn to observe as well.
If you encourage your child to learn to draw, help them find interest in it, and give them exercises, they will be much more open to studying everything around them.
Which color are the flowers around the house? Does the chair in the kitchen have rounded or square ends?
These are questions that will begin to pop-up in your child’s mind.
Since they will be interested in drawing things around them, they will start to pay more attention to the small details.
The overall benefits of this are an increased Attention Span and careful observation of surroundings (for example, for what is harmful and what is not).
In my opinion, this alone is an awesome benefit for children and should be taken well into consideration. But let’s talk about a few other!
Helps with Concentration and Memory
Drawing is something that takes time.
At least most of the times. You can make hundreds of simple and quick sketches, but even those will take at least an hour or so.
If you’re just starting out and trying to convince your child to draw, it might only last a few minutes each day. Most kids are not used to paying attention for too long, even cartoons can’t take all of their attention for too long! But as they grow and spend a bit of their time, every day, drawing, they’ll develop their concentration steadily while having fun.
By increasing their time drawing, little by little, will develop two very important skills in a human being: Concentration and Memory.
The mind is a muscle, and if it keeps being trained and used correctly every day, it will get bigger and stronger.
When someone increases their level of concentration, they will be able to study for longer periods of time and to focus better on the task at hand.
This along with a better Memory will help them retain knowledge for long periods of time, which is a very useful skill to have!
Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
We use Hand-Eye Coordination everyday without noticing.
From cutting some food, to driving a car or simply reading a message on our phone.
This is a super important skill to have in today’s day and age. At any day and age, really!
Drawing as a hobby or professionally increases immensely the rate of how quickly you get better at it!
When drawing we tend to keep looking at our reference image (if we have one) and at our piece of paper (or tool, like an iPad or Drawing Tablet).
We do all of this while moving our hand, wrist, and arm at the same time.
With all these movements that we do, our hand-eye coordination gets better and better, and for a child, it can give a big impact on their future, no matter the chosen occupation.
Develops Dexterity / Fine Motor Skills
This one is a given, but let’s quickly talk about it anyway.
Drawing is based on moving our hand, wrist, and arm in repetitive ways over and over again.
Creating lines, painting shapes and much more.
With all this exercise, our dexterity keeps increasing more and more. And as we’ve talked about just before this, having good motor skills and coordination is a very important factor in the future of any child.
Drawing Boosts Imagination
I’ve written a whole blog post about this, and how everyone can Get Their Imagination Back.
But in short, having a higher imagination can help anyone with things such as Problem Solving. It leads to Innovation and Invention. Takes impact in our Dreams and Ambition.
It really is one of the most important things that we can have. Regardless of the current or future profession.
If you can “cultivate” this in your child when they are very young, it will really help them see the world from a whole new perspective.
Teaching Your Child To Draw
The first thing I need to say if you want your child to draw is: don’t pressure them.
No one, either children or adults, work well under pressure and feeling they are forced to do something.
I say this over and over on my courses, but drawing is supposed to be fun. Not to leave you frustrated and sad. You do it because you’re feeling like it!
Some children have a thing for the Arts and drawing, and some don’t.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on trying to introduce any artistic skill to your child, not at all. Maybe they don’t like drawing, but they’ll like to sculpt figures in Play-Doh. Constructing buildings with Legos!
There are tons of creative activities to do and even if your child will pursue a whole different career later on, these games and toys will help in every aspect that we’ve mentioned above.
You might just have to try harder and explore different ways to grab their interest in these activities.
There’s always something they’ll like and, who knows, maybe even you’ll enjoy and join!
So here are my tips on how you can teach your child to draw.
Make a Drawing Routine
Set up a daily drawing routine for drawing.
For example, sometime before dinner, or before going to bed, take some time out, set art supplies in an area and just have fun drawing.
Remember that depending on the age the child may want instruction or nothing at all.
If it’s a very young child I would recommend just letting them do what they want and maybe even join in for some art mess.
An older child, however, may want a more instructive approach, with step by step tutorials and art guidance.
If you’re not very artistically inclined you can just look for some online tutorials or Drawing Courses to help him/her.
Joining them doing some mindless scribbles might help too.
Having some company will inspire and motivate them to join in the activity. Children usually like to do things with others, so this is a good time for some bonding as well!
Give Drawing Prompts and Exercises
Some children can just feel lost when someone hands them a piece of paper and asks them to draw whatever comes to mind.
Hey, adult artists will often feel like this too, especially beginners!
This is a very common feeling, called Analysis Paralysis.
It’s, basically put, when someone over-analyses the situation and has so many options that they can’t decide which is the best course of action.
To help with this, simply give them a drawing prompt like “Draw a yellow dinosaur” or something more general like “draw your favorite food”.
Try different things and see what clicks with your child.
But if that’s still not enough, I’ve divided a bunch of Drawing Ideas for Kids of any age.
Simply scroll down and read the ones that interest you!
Drawing Ideas For Toddlers
For toddlers, it’s best to let them roam free with their drawing tools and without correcting them on what’s wrong or what’s right, or even “what is that”.
Rule number one in drawing: there’s no wrong way to do things!
And the earliest someone learns this, the best, it helps boost their confidence and how they feel about their art.
Simply let them do their own thing and if you like, feel free to tag along and draw alongside them!
Here are some drawing ideas for Toddlers:
- Draw a simple Shape (like a Circle) and let them fill it in
- Show them how to draw Shapes (Stars, Squares, Hearts) and see if they repeat them
- Draw the family! This is a really fun one that you can save to show them when they grow up or in a few years)
- Let them Paint with their Hands. This is one of the funniest exercises to do. Even for you! Just have fun and get ready to get all dirty with paint.
- Draw your pet (any pet goes, cat, dog, hamster, doesn’t really matter!)
- Try different paper Colors. This one already starts working their imagination. Maybe they’ll figure out that drawing grass on a green sheet of paper shouldn’t be done with a green pencil for example!
- Draw a Smiling Sun (simple and cute)
Really just keep in mind having fun instead of actually learning anything too specific!
Drawing Ideas For Preschoolers – 3 to 5-Year-Olds
If you have a preschooler (from 3 to 5 years old) you can do something a bit more advanced and ask them specific things!
Here are some great drawing ideas for preschoolers:
- Draw the House
- Paint a Coloring Book. This is a really great help for children that are not sure what to draw or prefer painting! It also develops their coloring skills and helps them understand color better.
- Draw a Rainbow using all the colors
- Draw using only Spots and Splatter
- Draw the Ocean
- Draw your favorite Cartoon Character (help them choosing a character if they feel stuck)
- Draw a Unicorn
- Draw a Car
- Use Gouache (help them with this)
As you can see, when finding ideas for preschoolers you can be a bit more specific but not too overly complex!
Keep letting them explore new materials and shapes and don’t correct them too much, it’s important to let them have as much fun as possible with their drawings.
Drawing Ideas For 5 to 10-Year-Olds
For 5 to 10-year-olds, you can give even more specific drawing prompts.
I would also advise you to give them reference images for them to copy!
If you want to keep them away from the computer/tablet you can always just print these out and hand them over to them.
Alternatively, you can go out, bring some pencils and paper and go draw from nature outside!
Here are some drawing ideas for 5 to 10-year-olds:
- Draw the cast of (their favorite TV-Show)
- Draw a Jumping Dog or Cat
- Trace a household item (like a statue or a spoon)
- Draw yourself! This one can be hard when they’re young, but I recommend you start giving this drawing prompt early so they can see the evolution throughout the years
- Draw an Angry Face. I actually wrote a guide on this to help!
- Close your eyes and draw a Pig (or anything else)
- Draw a Farmland
Drawing Ideas For Tweens (10 to 13-Year-Olds)
Here’s when you can start getting a bit more complex with the prompts.
At this age, they want something more exciting and to use more of their imagination.
So if you have a wild imagination, now is the time to shine! If not, I’m here to help.
Here are some drawing ideas for Tweens (10 to 13-Year-Olds):
- Draw a Spaceship and give it a name. Even though giving a name is optional, it can really help get the imagination juice flowing!
- Draw futuristic Robot
- Draw an Elf Princess
- Create a Fantasy Castle! Let them draw it as complex as they want, simples rectangles and squares are fine, and so is drawing stone by stone.
- Draw your special Super Power. This is a great one to practice imagination! Let them figure out a cool super power and how they could use it.
- Connect the Dots. Listen, I’m an adult and I still love these, especially and I just want to relax a bit, but still use some pencils and pens. They can really be amazing and there are adult versions available, so check them out if you’re curious!
- Draw with your non-dominant Hand
- Draw the Characters from your favorite Movie. If he/she feels stuck choosing a movie, feel free to help by choosing one that you know they like.
- Mix two Animals and Draw it!
Feel free to push their imagination. Robot Shark? Sure! Horse Princess? Sounds good! Try to think of two different things and combine them, you’re bound to get very interesting characters.
Drawing Ideas For Teens (13 to 19-Year-Olds)
I personally believe that the more complex you can get here, the better.
Make them think out of the box, give them ideas that they wouldn’t think about, or just give them a project that takes longer and requires more attention.
Here’s a list of drawing ideas for teens:
- Self-Portrait. I would even give this one out every year or so, so they can see the huge amount of progress you can make with drawing practice
- Draw your Room
- Draw the perspective on an Ant
- Draw the perspective of an Eagle
- Create an Underwater scene. Either in Fantasy or Real Life, whichever your child prefers!
- Draw a Cyclops
- Imagine how a God looks. If you’re from a specific religion you can ask them to draw the exact god you tell them to, otherwise, you can try some greek or Norse mythology for example!
- Draw yourself 10 years from now. This one really helps to get the imagination going!
- Create a Caricature of a famous person (actor, singer, etc)
- Go to the Park and draw the Environment
- Sit on a bench and draw the People passing by. It can be somewhat chaotic, but it will help them quickly analyze their surroundings and finding solutions to draw the important parts only, just like the next drawing idea!
- Sketch quick scenes from a Movie while watching it
During the teenager phase, I believe it’s very important to really push it and make the best of it. This is the time most people will give up on drawing due to peer pressure and self-doubt.
Remember to still let them do their own thing, but try to remember them that they are getting better at their skill and that drawing is a fun activity!
At this age, kids draw because it’s something they like and want to do more of it and it’s very easy to compare ourselves to others and lose confidence in our work.
Remind them that what they’re doing is good and motivate them!
Drawing Activities For Special Needs Young Artists
Special Needs children and adults tend to prefer more tactile objects and activities.
In art, this mostly means diversifying the tools!
Try different drawing tools and see what your child likes.
Some people really like to hold graphite pencils (or graphite directly) but others really prefer to get more messy with gouache, watercolor, and painting with their hands!
So do consider getting different types of art supplies and testing them out with your child. I wouldn’t recommend giving them all out at once though! That leads to analysis paralysis as we talked before.
So just slowly introduce different supplies on different days.
Now, most of these exercises we already talked about before, but I’m going to list them here anyway since I believe they work especially good with special needs children and adults.
Here are some drawing activities for special needs children:
- Draw yourself. In this case, it really lets you see how and what they think of themselves, this is a VERY useful exercise!
- Draw a cat
- Paint with your Hands. As I said, special needs children usually tend to like more sensorial activities, so do try this and expect it to get messy!
- Draw a smiling sun
- Connect the Dots. Having a place to start instead of a blank piece of paper can be a huge help to really get the mind going and give a boost of confidence!
- Draw a Car
- Draw your favorite Cartoon Character
Other than this, I would also recommend getting a very simple Coloring Book to help them out. If you see they are getting stuck looking at a piece of paper, this really helps them get started!
Cool And Easy Things To Draw For Every Age
Let’s talk more about easy things that you can draw, no matter the age!
You don’t have to be a pro to draw any of these, in fact, if you’re not a pro it should be easier to draw any of these without overthinking. So just relax, pick a few of the list and get drawing.
Here are some cool and easy things to draw:
- Abstract Shapes. Simply start drawing straight or curved lines and form shapes all around!
- The Sun
- The Moon
- A Cat Face. Very simple with as few lines as possible.
- A Smiley Face
- Trace your Hand. Put your hand on top of a piece of paper and use a pencil to draw around your hand.
- Fill your sheet with Circles
- Make random Dots in a piece of paper and connect them. This is one of my favorites, the possibilities of drawings are endless, only stopped by your imagination!
Sometimes people are so tired from their day that they don’t even have the energy to think about art, so this is a quick and easy solution that anyone can use!
Best Fun Topics For Drawing Competitions
Drawing competitions can be an awesome way to engage with children!
Either in school or at my home with friends, it really can bring a lot of laughs around and everyone will try their best to win it.
Remember to give them a super good prize like a stuffed toy, a video game or some super special candy!
I’ll list them mostly in order of easiest to hardest.
Here’s a list of the best drawing competitions topics:
- Draw your Pet
- Draw your favorite Cartoon Character
- Favorite Flower
- Favorite Food
- The best Pet
- Dream Job
- Future City
- Outside the Box
- Earth 50 years from now
- Create your own Creature
Also, keep in mind what the people you are running the art competition for like and don’t like.
In my opinion, it’s best to keep a mix between things they are familiar with and things they rarely draw. Doing this can make the competition very interesting!
So feel free to mix and match themes around to make it happen and remember to have fun with it!
Drawing Games For Kids
Some kids might not find it fun to draw at first.
When this happens one thing that I found really helps is to turn it into a game!
By turning something into a game people start to automatically think of it as a fun thing to do. Just like the “doing the laundry” game! … Ok, maybe it doesn’t work on every single thing.
So here are some fun drawing games for kids:
- Scribble Drawings: one person scribbles an entire page with a pencil, and then the other looks at it and uses their imagination to come up with creatures, characters or what else they see there! This is a SUPER useful game to improve imagination.
- Collaborative Drawing: simply give a drawing prompt from the lists above, and let one of the kids start drawing. Set a timer of 30 seconds for example and then tell them to stop and give the paper to the next kid! This makes a very fun game where they are fusing ideas and trying to continue the previous person’s drawing.
- What’s inside the Castle? Draw a very simple outline of a Castle and give it to them, then ask them what do they think is inside the castle and to draw it. Expect to see huge dining rooms, knights and maybe even a dragon!
- Finish My Drawing: this is somewhat similar to the collaborative drawing we talked before, but instead of setting up a timer, you just tell each kid to draw a Head of a character or animal, then when they’re done they pass it along to the next person to draw the torso, and you can do this once more to draw the hands and feet if you wish. This will make some very odd and funny combinations! Fish face lion with octopus legs? Sure!
- Connect the Dots: I already talked about similar drawing prompts in this article but I can’t stress enough how fun it can be to do a simple connect the dots game! Simply create dots all over a piece of paper and pass it around. Then you can just tell them to connect everything up if they aren’t too many, or give them a limit, for example, 15 dots, to create whatever they want. Super fun exercises to push the limits of imagination.
Summing It Up
There are many drawing prompts and creative drawing ideas that you can give to your kids if you were feeling stuck before I hope I’ve helped you!
Remember to always have patience when giving these out.
Each kid is different, so do take some time to try different things with them. Maybe they haven’t found the perfect drawing tool yet or maybe drawing isn’t really a thing they enjoy. So don’t stress it out, let them have their fun!
Also, I HIGHLY suggest you try some of this drawing prompts yourself. Not only do they help with Imagination and focus, but they also can help you see what would work with your children and get new ideas for them!
Ok, that’s about it for this post, I hope you’ve enjoyed! Check out the rest of the blog if you’re interested in art and drawing. See you soon!
Back to the Blog