Sometimes you buy a brand new, pristinely gorgeous sketchbook for your kid, prance home to present it to them with the fancy colored pencils you just bought at Michael’s, and then they scribble something across one of the pages and toss the book to the side of the bed, where it gets buried in smelly socks, banana peels, fidget spinners, their summer reading list, gum wrappers, and one single dead fly.
What if you could get your kids to love and adore and look forward to using their sketchbooks?
Here are some ideas to get kids into a love-love relationship with a sketchbook.
- Peruse my 100 Drawing Ideas for Kids post. There are soooo many awesome drawing ideas there, and you can modify or simplify some of them to work as simple sketchbook exercises.
- Take your kids outside with their sketchbooks, a few pencils, erasers, and of course a snack. Give them 3 assignments to draw: a tree, a car, a building or house. Have them sketch each one quickly 1-2 times each, just to get a feel for the shapes, then they can do a longer drawing. How long they take depends on their age and focus level.
- Right when you give them the new sketchbook, lay out some papers, glue, gesso, paints, washi tapes, markers, etc. so they can fancy up the cover. Making their sketchbook into a work of art will make them more likely to want to use it. Cool ideas for sketchbook covers here.
- Set 5 pages in a row aside, and have them do a drawing of the same thing 5 days in a row. They could draw: you, themselves, the dog, a corner of the room, a simple still life. Over the course of the 5 days, they can work on refining their drawing skills, or they can choose to use a different art material each day. See my list of favorite art supplies for kids here.
- They can dedicate their sketchbook to following sketchbook challenges or drawing prompts like this fun list I put together.
- Have them use their sketchbook as a journal for a summer vacation, a trip they go on, camp, etc. They can draw a page a day to record what they did and keep as a reminder for the future.