Summer holidays in Melbourne means it’s time to enjoy the outdoors. But it doesn’t have to mean that bats and balls are in and crayons and other drawing tools are out!

There are many ways to make drawing part of your family’s summer fun – and lots of good reasons to do it too!

Drawing is the perfect “all-in” activity for your whole tribe – from toddlers right up to school-aged children and even parents too! Not only is it a fun, interactive and creative thing to do together, drawing helps children develop skills for writing and reading – as drawing is a visual and motor skill. 

Here are four simple drawing ideas to inspire you this summer:

1. Take it outside!

Chalk is a fantastic medium that lends itself to lots of outdoor applications – let the driveway, the footpath and the walls of your home or garden be the blackboard! 

Does your child love cars, trucks or trains? Draw roads or tracks together on your driveway or footpath. Make zooming noises as you go. Add signposts, trees, lakes, pedestrians and buildings. And when the drawing is done, your child can take their toys for a test drive!

Is your child keen on sport and playing games? Draw a hopscotch court together, lines for “line tiggy” or a down ball court.

And help mark the New Year or another event with a limited-edition family-drawn sign on your driveway! Hip hip hooray it’s 2020!

2. Paint-with-water!

Paint with water activities provide all the fun with none of the stress (paint!). Give your child a few different paintbrushes, a cup of water and let them paint to their heart’s content on decks, fences and paths! Dries up clean and quick in the summertime heat! 

3. May the beach be your canvas!

Everyone loves making sandcastles at the beach or in the sandpit over summer. As well as moats and towers, encourage your children to add lines and markings around the castle. Does a forest surround the castle? A village? Do roads lead into the countryside? Draw these in with shovels and use seaweed, leaves and shells for decoration.

4. Draw summer-inspired images inside!

When it’s hot or time for a quiet indoor activity, there are many summer-inspired drawing activities to choose from. Make it an all-in family activity by using a single sheet of paper on the floor:

• Start a water scene with waves. Are there any boats? Are there any fish/other creatures? Is there a beach?

• Draw outlines of shells. Ask your child to decorate them with you.

• Draw a tree. Ask what is in the tree? Fruit? Birds? A nest?

• Using black paper and white crayons, draw a night sky. Is there a shooting star? Are there any clouds?

By Melbourne mums of three Lauren Gardiner and Debbie Isaac. Lauren is an author and Debbie is a paediatric occupational therapist. Together they run workshops that inspire parents to draw with their children.