Family drawing night

Silence your phone and inner perfectionist; just keep that crayon moving

| 13 Mar 2020 | 05:19

Turn off all of your electronics, gather pens, pencils and crayons, sit down together at the table and draw on paper. Voila, a family drawing night! A time for connecting with each other and allowing ourselves to unwind. Simple as that, right?

Ha! What about bedtime drama, sports, homework, to-do lists, emotions, life and “Really? Do we have to?” (which is more likely to be said by my husband than my son).

This simple act of gathering together with pen and paper certainly needs some prep work. At the risk of making the “simple” feel complicated, this part is essential. Make it festive with wine, hot chocolate and cookies. Or just clear the table and set a timer for 15 minutes.

The point is to be together and move a drawing implement around on paper. No one has to “make art” or “be creative.” We love those aspirations in our kids, but as adults? Personally, I have to remind myself that I don’t need a perfect drawing, I just need to keep moving my pen.

Here are some games or ideas that help me ease up and let the ink flow:

- Draw a repeating pattern.

- Write topics on scraps of paper and pull them out of a bowl (turtles, trees, dinner, bugs, mittens, flower, snakes)

- Unwind, literally. Draw squiggles and swirls. Fill the page.

- Draw your outfit.

- Write a word over and over in different styles.

- Line up a collection of mugs, backpacks or shoes and draw them.

- Crack open a new box of art supplies.

- Draw on paper from the recycling bin.

- Give everybody a stack of Post-It notes and a black market.

- Make a black and white coloring page. Pass it to the left and see what it looks like after your neighbor colors it in. You will color the page passed to you.

Raheli Harper homesteads on 10 acres where she raises sheep, free-range chickens and children. See her handwork at This week’s Dirt Jr. is brought to you by Dirt magazine. Subscribe at