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How to Teach Kids to Draw Using Shapes

Street chalk fire truck and monster truck.

Street chalk fire truck and monster truck.

Everything is made of shapes.

While making crude chalk drawings in the park with my sons I realized drawing could be a great teaching tool. By breaking subjects into shapes that they can easily identify and draw they will be able to draw more confidently in the future. Since they are still just toddlers, getting to know their shapes, so I hope these exercises will also get them more familiar with identifying various shapes.

ANYTHING can be broken down into simple shapes. After taking a look at some of these examples, try to find your own subjects to draw and break them down into simplified shapes. Please feel free to share if you do!

This exercise works with a pencil, eraser, and paper, but also with other mediums; such as paper cut outs, chalk drawings, and other 2D mediums. Though, I'm sure, with a little innovation you could make these figures out of play dough as well. To demonstrate this versatility, this hub will be illustrated in various mediums.

As I come up with more designs, I'll be sure to add them.

Have fun!

How to draw a Monster Truck with just shapes.

How to draw a Monster Truck with just shapes.

How to Draw a Monster Truck

This tutorial was drawn using computer software.

*If you are doing paper cut outs, draw steps 1 - 6 on the paper you want for the body of your car before cutting out anything.


How to draw a fire engine with shapes.

How to draw a fire engine with shapes.

How to Draw a Fire Engine

This tutorial was drawn using computer software.


How to draw a pickup truck using just shapes.

How to draw a pickup truck using just shapes.

How to Draw a Pick-up Truck

This tutorial was drawn using a pencil, eraser, and pen.

How to draw a car using shapes.

How to draw a car using shapes.

How to Draw a Boxy Car

This tutorial was drawn using a pencil, eraser, and pen.

How to draw a car using shapes.

How to draw a car using shapes.

How to Draw a Round Car

This tutorial was drawn using a pencil, eraser, and pen.

How to draw a boat using shapes.

How to draw a boat using shapes.

How to Draw a Boat

This tutorial was drawn in pen.

How to draw a helicopter.

How to draw a helicopter.

How to Draw a Helicopter

This tutorial was drawn in pencil.

How to draw a city bus.

How to draw a city bus.

How to Draw a Bus

This tutorial was drawn in pencil.

How to draw a yellow submarine.

How to draw a yellow submarine.

How to Draw a Submarine

This tutorial was created with paper cutouts.

When making paper cutout images, I would recommend drawing all the parts that are attached and the same colour at the same time before cutting them out. In this example I drew all my submarine parts, then added the two additional pieces.

I would also recommend flipping the paper so any pencil marks you make are not visible.

How to draw a yellow cab.

How to draw a yellow cab.

How to Draw a Taxicab

This tutorial was created with paper cutouts.

When making paper cutout images, I would recommend drawing all the parts that are attached and the same colour at the same time before cutting them out.

If you need to draw pieces that conform to the shape of another piece (in this example, the windows of the car), trace the base shape on the colour you need (I traced the yellow car on a piece of white paper) then draw the shapes on the tracing.

I would also recommend flipping the paper so any pencil marks you make are not visible.

If you are making a tiny cutout, as I did here, use a tweezer to move the piece easily and a toothpick to add glue.

Halloween Characters

Learn how to draw a pumpkin, witch, cat, bat, werewolf, and Frankenstein's monster on my Halloween craft and game Hub.

How to Draw a Turkey

Learn how to draw a turkey on my thanksgiving crafts Hub.

Learn how to draw a turkey on my thanksgiving crafts Hub.

Circle for 1, Semi-circle for 2, Triangle for 3, Square for 4, Pentagon for 5, Hexagon for 6, etc. etc.

Circle for 1, Semi-circle for 2, Triangle for 3, Square for 4, Pentagon for 5, Hexagon for 6, etc. etc.

Shape Hopscotch

Here's a spin on Hopscotch to help your young ones learn their shapes! Rather than draw boring old boxes, draw shapes. Or take it a step further and draw shapes with sides that correlate with the number they represent (i.e. Square for 4, Pentagon for 5). When playing Hopscotch gets boring, have fun identifying colours by shading in the Hopscotch shapes.

Try a game of ninja hopscotch to test your shape knowledge and stay active.

Improve this Hub

Learning is Fun!

I like to use every opportunity I can to turn playtime into learning time. The key is to go about it in a way that doesn't make play feel like a lesson. Go about these exercises in a lighthearted and carefree manner and you and your kids are bound to enjoy yourselves. Don't frustrate yourself by trying to force the teaching aspect of these activities. Your kids will get it if you make a habit of repetitive play. Just relax and enjoy!

If you had fun doing these exercises with your kids (or just by yourself, that is totally cool) please let me know in the comments below. If you have any requests for subjects to draw using shapes, please feel free to ask.

Comments

ubrish ali from Pakistan(Asia) on November 05, 2014:

Followthestry you did very well .yes through different shapes children get idea about their topic so easily .

Samantha Harris (author) from New York on October 09, 2014:

Added pictures of my Halloween monster shape drawings and a link to my Halloween Hub which demonstrates how to draw them.

Dianna Mendez on September 24, 2014:

This is a fun post and so very helpful in learning how to help kids learn to draw. Your post is well done. I wish I would have had it when I taught early elementary.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 24, 2014:

Great drawing tutorial! I could have used this a lot earlier, but I might still have some time to be a kid again and draw a fire engine. Thanks!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 23, 2014:

This is really very useful in teaching kids, the drawing techniques!

Your pictures and explanation is truly helpful and informative.

Voted up and pinned on my 'education' board! Thanks!