Inside: Need a happy mood booster? This no prep, do anywhere blindfold drawing activity is an opportunity to laugh with our kids in the midst of our crazy-busy days.
Sometimes we need to seek opportunities to laugh with our kids. As we go through our days— picking up toys and dispensing wisdom: “No, you can’t bang a metal car on a mirror”—we often have our face set in a scowl. (Do a face check right now. Are the corners of your mouth up or down?)
But laughing together is not only good for bonding; it actually sets in motion a positive cascade of choices. You laugh in the morning, find you have a little more energy in the afternoon, and end up doing a few minutes of yoga before bedtime, which means you sleep better and wake up the next day a more patient and relaxed mom.
This activity evolved out of my kids’ desire to find out things we can do with our eyes shut. As you have probably guessed, it was prompted by reading Dr. Seuss’s I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.
We discovered that we could not read with our eyes shut, but drawing blindfolded is totally doable, especially if you are ready to laugh at your scribbles.
Blindfold drawing ended up being a happy mood booster that doesn’t require any time to set up. Just grab a scarf, a pencil, and a few sheets of paper.
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What you need
- A blindfold like a scarf or sleep mask
- A pencil
The first time you play this game, you will have to go first to demonstrate the game.
Also, keep in mind that not everyone is keen on trying new ways of doing things. So it’s possible that your kids might need to watch you draw (and laugh at you) a couple of times before they will get comfortable enough to try it themselves.
If you have multiple kids and you think it might be necessary, specify the rules from the start. You can laugh good-humoredly, but you can’t ridicule or demean someone else’s work.
What to do
- Ask the kids what they want you to draw. Drawing well isn’t required, but if you absolutely don’t know how to start, just type in “how to draw a …” (cat, goat, T-rex) on Google. You will get an instant inspiration.
- Put a blindfold on.
- Create the drawing in your mind. Really imagine every curve, line, and swirl.
- Touch the edges of the paper in front of you to help position the pencil. (When it’s your kid’s turn, he/she might need your help positioning a pencil).
- Start drawing. You can vary this activity by choosing to draw the whole picture without lifting the pencil off the paper.
How did it go?
It’s probably not going to turn out the way you had hoped. Drawing blindfolded is not the same as drawing with your eyes open.
But getting it right is not the point.
Giggle, laugh, or snort with your child like there’s no tomorrow. I suspect one reason my kids love this activity so much is because it offers a chance to laugh at mom. My kids love to finish up every painting with a few additional marks to improve it or turn it into something else altogether.
Sometimes a game of blind drawing can evolve into a full-out drawing session. My daughter brought out her favorite dinosaur to use as a model.
More than child’s play!
There’s more to this activity than meets the eye. Did you know that imagining an object with your mind’s eye stimulates spatial thinking?
Some other benefits of blindfold drawing include creativity, improved memory, and improved problem-solving skills. You might also notice that your kids begin to pay more attention to book illustrations.