A Quick Game to Foster Creativity: Add on Art

The other day I was working on preparing for the upcoming school year, which meant that the kids were left to fend for themselves.  Occasionally my youngest finds herself a little lost in figuring out what to do.  My husband grabbed her, gave her a marker, and they started playing what he calls: "Add on Art." add on art game - fostering creativity The game is very simple.  Each player gets a marker, and then they take turns adding a line, squiggle, dot, circle, or whatever small element of design to the page (or whiteboard).  As lines combine, an image might begin to appear.  Then the players can work on developing the idea together.  It's a cooperative game as opposed to a competitive game. The first line of the drawing below was the curved line that now forms the mouth. Daddy and daughter add on art The goal of this art game is not to perfect the techniques of drawing, but rather to play with shapes and see what creative images emerge. As they worked together, my daughter was so encouraged by the attention of her daddy.  It's amazing how a simple game can change the outlook of the day. add on art This won't be art that is framed on the wall, but it can produce some fun products, but it is pretty cute! Finishing touches   We have also played this game in the car on the iPad.  We love the drawing app "Paper". Instead of having two markers, we just pass the iPad back and forth.  It requires patience for the one waiting for their turn, but that's a great skill to practice as well. Here are some of our creations: Photo Aug 01, 3 11 55 PM Photo Aug 01, 3 12 03 PM Photo Aug 01, 3 12 10 PM Anything that strengthens relationships, cultivates creativity, and engages my kids is a game that I like to keep in my back pocket to pull out to diffuse a potentially negative situation. Try it - it only takes a few minutes!  Let me know how your add on art game goes with your kids!

The Free Range Family


  1. Alana on August 12, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    This is so simple, but is BRILLIANT!!! I pinned it so I don’t forget to give this a try. Granted, I may do it with my kids tomorrow 🙂

    • Betsy on August 12, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      Thanks Alana! I also love that you don’t have to be a fabulous artist to play. Hope you and your kids enjoy!

  2. Jennifer Corter on August 12, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    That looks like so much fun! How cool!

  3. Shelah on August 12, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    What a brilliant, simple game. There are so many skills hiding in this activity: observational skills, cooperation, fine motor, and more. It’s a gem of an activity.

    • Betsy on August 12, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks Shelah! I love finding simple ways to play and incorporate so much learning.

  4. Becky Pink on August 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This is such a great idea, thanks for sharing! I;ve been thinking about getting a big whiteboard for our kitchen (to try and be more organised!) and this has just tipped the balance! Becky x #busydoinglife

  5. Claire on August 17, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thankyou so much for sharing this with me on #busydoinglife… Such an awesome ideab and you are right anything that makes life a little smoother has gotta be a win! I will definately be trying this!!

  6. Alice @ The Filling Glass on August 18, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Seen this on the #busydoinglife linky. Its a great activity, I love the collaborative nature of it. So often I think up activities for the children to do, but independently of me, so you have challenged me to be more involved. Thanks

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