Squiggle Drawing

Every once in awhile, I find myself in that dicey situation where I have to come up with an activity that will be enjoyable for a wide age range and have some form of meaning behind it.

Sometimes, I succeed, other times… the big kids get to decorate cookies or play with homemade play dough.

This time, we tried squiggle drawings and it was a huge hit! This is a perfect all ages art activity with a great meaning behind it – and it even qualifies as process-based art! Bonus!

We tried this quick and easy art activity after a reading of Peter H. Reynold’s Ish, a sweet book that encourages children to see the beauty in their own artwork, and continue to create even if they don’t always succeed at what they set out to create. It is part of a wonderful series that includes The Dot and Sky Colour.

After reading the book, I set out markers and crayons and ensured that each child had a marker in their hand and a piece of paper in front of them. I told them to just squiggle to their heart’s content while I counted down ten seconds.

Some were more enthusiastic than others, and that was okay – because this activity is all about instilling confidence in their creativity.

After they all created their squiggles, I told them the next stage of the activity: we were going to look for the story within the picture. Some of the kids pointed out how it was kind of like looking for shapes or objects when you look at clouds.

This activity is about being creative and imperfect. About looking for the potential in the start of a project, and making beauty or art out of something that doesn’t seem so art-ish.

It was really interested (and perhaps, revealing) to see what each of the children came up with when looking at their squiggles. Some saw objects, or people, or pop culture references.

Some focused on just one main line as the “outline” for their final focus (like the water drop or rocket above), while others incorporated the various lines and squiggles into their final design process (like the cat or fish).

 

What was exceptional about this quick and easy art activity was that ALL of the kids were proud of their final products. The little kids enjoyed feeling validated for squiggles, while the big kids enjoyed the challenge of making “real art” out of a squiggle.

I would do this activity again as a warm-up for other art activities, especially because it is nearly impossible to create the same picture twice. It sets a creative mood and is not intimidating for those who lack confidence in their art skills.

I hope you liked our quick and easy squiggle drawing idea, and if you’d like to see more of our kids’ activity ideas, make sure to subscribe to our daily or weekly e-mail updates!

For more quick and easy activities for kids, please check out these ideas from some of my fellow bloggers:

 What Do We Do All Day & Paper Airplane Landing Strips, Three Ways

The Jenny Evolution & Nothing But Tape: Fast, Easy Indoor Race Car Track for Kids

Barefeet on the Dashboard & Make a Simple Rice Sensory Bin

Betsy’s Photography & Colouring Rocks with Permanent Markers

Sight and Sound Reading & Best Paper Airplane to Teach Letter A

The Gingerbread House & How to Make Cardboard Cookies

Adventures of Adam & Number Cereal Sensory Bin

For more open-ended art activities for kids, check out our Starfish Mixed Media Art Project or our Crayon Drip Rain Cloud.

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