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How to Draw Shape Animals

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

When my kids ask me to draw them something I say "No!" It feels mean at the time but I have my reasons. If I start drawing things for them at their ages (5 and 3), they will always want me to draw for them and they won't try themselves. What am I teaching them if I do it for them?

Team art made by me and my kids.

One time my kids asked me to draw Chase from Paw Patrol. I started drawing a really simple version of Chase on THEIR paper. I didn't see this coming, but once I started drawing him, my kids wouldn't let me stop! Then they would never try to draw Chase themselves. This, was a problem.

Skye's got to fly!

After a bit of time with this happening and often ending in tears (sometimes mine, sometimes theirs), I started getting two pieces of paper and showing them how to make the drawing I would make for them. I would show them the steps to make super simple Chase from Paw Patrol. It took a little adjusting for them to learn I would not draw it for them, but once we got going we had a ton of fun (and a lot less tears).

Follow along to see how to draw a giraffe.

So my advice for the adults with young kids learning to draw and appreciate art, DON'T do the drawing for the kids. Take the time to show them, step-by-step, how you would do it and make them copy it onto their own paper.

If you're not confident in your drawing skills, I'm here to help! First of all, your kids won't care. They will love drawing from your instructions. And if the Paw Patrol character or other animal isn't exactly right, it's not a big deal. Second of all, it's okay to Google. If you want to draw an elephant google "how to draw an elephant" and then show your kid step by step what the internet taught you.

Lastly, stick to simple lines and shapes. This is how pre-k and elementary aged kids are taught anyway. So use simple geometric shapes and lines to piece together an animal or plant. It's easy for kids to follow along and you are teaching them shapes (hello math) at the same time.

I've included a few helpful diagrams here in this blog post as well as a video demonstrating four of my favorite animals. Watch the video on your own, practice if you need to, and then get with your kids and make some drawings together. You will love the results!

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