It’s a game, no it’s art, no it’s…a combination creature! Kids get to play mad scientist in this wacky drawing game that’s a great way to encourage kids get to know each other a little better and maybe even help them mellow out after the high-energy antics of recess.
This art activity can be done by one child, but is best done in a group, ideally around 6 or 7 children.
First, you’ll need to do a little prep work: on several slips of paper, write an assortment of body parts that belong to different creatures. For instance, one might say “a duck’s wing,” another might say “a gnome’s beard.” Make sure you have enough slips for every kid who will be playing.
Have the kids gather in a large space, like a living room or a backyard. Put the slips of paper in a hat or bowl and have them pull one at random.
Explain to the kids that their assignment is to draw the item on their slip of paper. Make sure they know to keep it a secret – each child’s drawing will be a surprise later!
As they draw, make sure the kids are not letting others see their drawing. If space allows, seat them far away from one another so they can’t see their friends’ creations!
When everyone has finished drawing, have them color in their sketches with colored pencils, still not revealing their pictures to each other.
After coloring, gather the kids together in a circle. They can then do a little show and tell, explaining to the others what they drew. For example, one person may have drawn the mane of a lion, while another may have created the torso/body of a princess!
Attach all the body parts together using a pen point to poke small holes for brad clips (it’s best for adults to handle this, but older kids can do it, too). Put the pointed end of a clip through the front of overlapping pictures to attach them. The complete combination will create one amazing and unusual creature, complete with bendable, poseable limbs!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.