Each month I’ll be bringing you a fun children’s activity from Freaky Rivet’s co- founder, Iyas. You can learn more about Iyas and my affiliate partner Freaky Rivet at the bottom of this post.
We think your kids can teach some of the great art masters a thing or two. For example, did you know that Michaelangelo took 4 years to paint the creation and fall of man on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel? Yes, it’s beautiful. But 4 years? Your kids (and friends or family) are going to draw each other in 2 minutes in our fun art activity.
If Michaelangelo could draw at that rate consistently, even taking weekends and holidays off, he could have completed 15 million drawings in those 4 years!
Quality aside (pah!), Michaelangelo was clearly WAY over-rated.
How to play? Easy.
- You need an even number of players, at least 4.
- Get everyone sitting in a way that they’re facing someone else. A square or rectangular table would be perfect. Put a big roll of paper between them – foolscap or A4 or letter sized sheets are OK, but bigger is definitely better (whatever dad says).
- Put a stack of pens, crayons, coloring pencils, chalk or whatever drawing implements you have in the middle of the table.
- Set a timer for 60 seconds. Start it.
- You’ve got until the timer beeps to draw a face portrait of whoever is sitting opposite you. While you’re drawing them, they’re drawing you. It’s not about aesthetics – it’s about speed. If people are taking too long, set a rule that once your pen hits paper, you can’t take it off again until you’re done! That gets the creative juices flowing.
- Once the timer’s done, set it again for 30 seconds. This time color in the picture. Go!
- Once that’s done, a last 30 seconds to draw a frame. Shapes, colors, sizes, whatever makes it stand out. Go!
- All done. Admire each other’s portraits of each other, and prepare to be offended. Yes, they really do think your nose / forehead is that crooked / big.
You can make this more fun or complex by moving the portrait clockwise between each phase, so that a different person colors it in from the person who drew it. Or drawing with your non-drawing hand. Or talking non-stop about something completely unrelated (describe dad’s favorite dance moves, for example) while doing it. Or covering up one eye with an eye patch. Or making a sculpture from modeling clay rather than a drawing. Or anything else to jazz it up even more.
We’re working on the grown-up version of this game. But it can’t go on the same website 🙂
Freaky Rivet was founded by Iyas, the author of this article and father of four, and Kevin, an ex-teacher of over a thousand children, who now runs activity days for schools. Iyas used to lead an organisation of nearly 500 people, which he left for the bigger challenge of herding his four children with his wife around Latin America for 6 months. During this life-changing trip to recover from the corporate world, he was disturbed to see how easily children’s natural curiosity, discovery and energy could be side-tracked when a video game was in the vicinity. Deciding that technology was still essential for our children, but that it shouldn’t be given free reign instead of kids exploring, moving and creating, he decided with Kevin, an old friend from their time together at Oxford University, to come up with the Freaky Rivet concept – inviting children into a life of activity, of exploration and of discovery by using technology rather than fighting it. In his spare time (kidding, right?) he runs a charity for children living in disadvantaged and war-torn environments.