With the Kids

Summer Camp for Kids: Squiggle Drawings

On a recent afternoon where there was more squabbling than playing, I knew we needed a quick and simple boredom buster. I grabbed a stack of large index cards and a black Sharpie, and drew a quick squiggle on each one. I invited my girls to choose a squiggle drawings and turn it into something fun.

We spent a good part of the afternoon making these tiny squiggle-inspired masterpieces. I loved watching the girls turn their cards in different directions and wonder what they could create. What a great way to stretch our imaginations!

I remember doing these as a kid – maybe you do, too? It’s fun to make a big stack and grab one to draw on.  Or each person makes one, then passes it to another person to finish.

Tuck some squiggle cards in your purse for waiting time at a restaurant.  Bring a stack on a long car or plane ride. Turn the card over and write a sentence, poem, or story to go with it.  Or give it a fancy title, like Mountains at Sunset or Green Snake Hiding.

We enjoyed making small pieces of squiggle drawings, but you could certainly do these on larger paper, too. I’m thinking we’ll try making a mural next time – a long piece of paper with squiggles all over it. Fun!

Want more summer camp ideas? See this God’s Eye Craft for kids! We also have our Summer Camp Series sharing loads of ideas.

Happy creating!


  1. I completely forgot about doing these as a kid! I loved/love them! Thank you for bringing up a such memorable time in my childhood that I will make sure to pass along to my kids. Much better way to spend time besides watching tv and playing video games these days!

  2. My dad & I used to do this (actually, we still do it, and I’m 29!) while waiting in restaurants. One person would draw the squiggle and the other would have to make it into something, then we’d swap.

    Here’s a cool site for inspiration about drawing from squiggles: http://www.dailymonster.com/

  3. Just found your site – I love this idea – anything that lets kids’ imaginations take over is a great thing! Can’t wait to try it out with my two girls!

  4. Loved doing this as a kid, love doing it now with my kids. I love the smaller scale idea! Just posted today on my “Make it Monday” blog post our activity involving something like this. We do it on a LARGE poster board sheet and all color around it on the kitchen floor. I’ll have to try the smaller version soon. Just another reason I love love love this blog!

  5. My students always loved making squiggle drawings. I would put 3 squiggles on one page and they had to create something including all three lines. So neat seeing all of the different creation from the same 3 lines! My kids enjoy this same activity!

  6. We’ll be leaving for a road trip half way across the country—this idea came at an opportune time! Squiggle drawings would make a great road trip game because it’s easy to pack and it looks like it could consume miles of fun occupation!

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