I recently came across an activity that is quite simple, but for my boys and me, provided oodles of fun and playing time.  While this is really geared toward older children, it can be just as fun with younger ones as well.

Each person needs paper and a pencil (or crayon, but my boys found pencils easier to manage).  The key is to draw a picture without looking at it.  This process forces your brain to think perspectively and to be intentional with each mark.  Start with something simple, such as a tree or a house.  Either blindfold the person doing the drawing, ask him or her to look away, or sit in a darkened room.  Use your non-drawing hand to orient your pencil with the paper, feeling for the edges.  Then, draw!

With practice, my boys got better and better.  Once they were able to “see” the picture in their mind while they drew, they found that it was easier to produce the desired drawing.  We moved on to more complicated ideas, such as landscapes, people, animals and even a space scene.

Another idea is to place the paper on your head (with a book underneath to give a solid writing surface) and draw a picture on top of your head.  When I was younger, this was a great activity that my friends and I would try at Girl Scouts, in the lunchroom, and in any free time we had.  Our favorite was to attempt to draw a pig, but we did venture into other simple objects such as cars and flowers.  This activity is more difficult than the other; not only are you having to draw without seeing what you are doing, you are having to do it in a different angle and perspective.

Challenge your kids (and yourself) to attempt some different art together today.