Drawing is great for little and big minds alike. Not only is it plenty of fun, but it also helps get children’s creativity flowing while working on comprehension skills and fine motor skills. When kids get time to draw, it might help to provide a theme so that they can focus their thoughts while still allowing their imaginations to run wild.
In this article, we will be focusing on how to draw a playground so that your kids can create their idea of a perfect play space. Then, you can use these drawings to gather ideas and find the real-life playground of your dreams!
What Materials Do I Need?
This is simple: All you will need is some paper, pencils, erasers, and coloring supplies. There is no limit on the color supplies either. You can use anything you want: crayons, markers, colored pencils, or even glitter glue if you’re feeling a little sparkly. Options like glitter glue, paint, and anything messy are best used outside and far, far away from white carpet.
Let’s get started:
When we think of playgrounds, one of the first things that we think about are the large fixed equipment pieces that usually sit in the center of the play area.
We’re starting with the large raised platforms with all sorts of tunnels, bridges, and roofs attached to them — these are the parts that invite adventure and encourage curiosity. To draw these, children should have a basic understanding of shapes.
We will begin by drawing one of these:
- Start your drawing with a triangle close to the top of the page. This is the roof of the fort.
- Draw two long stilts (lines) from the bottom corners of the triangle down to the bottom of the paper. These are what keep the fort lifted in the air and the roof supported.
- Add a large square between the two stilts. This square can be anywhere from directly underneath the triangle to all the way at the bottom of the stilts or anywhere in between. It depends on how tall you will want your slide later. This is now the base of your fort.
- Inside the square, draw a door. The door can be rectangular, circular, or any shape in between. You will simply need to make sure that there is an entrance to the fort.
- If the base of your fort is not at the bottom of your stilts, draw a cute ladder that leads to the door of your fort. You can do this with two vertical parallel lines up each side of the door. Then, connect the vertical lines with several horizontal lines. These are the rungs of your ladder.
Once your sketch has a roof, a base, a door, and a ladder, you are all finished with the fort! If you want to expand your construction, you can draw another identical fort next to your first one and connect the two with a small bridge.
You can put in a bridge by drawing two soft U shapes between the two forts, one above the other. The bottom U is the bridge, while the top U is the hand rope. Draw a series of vertical lines from one U to the other to connect the rope railing to the bridge.
Now that your fort is finished, you will need to add a slide to it. Slides can vary based on height and the extreme nature (roller coasters, anyone?).
There are also several kinds of slides that you can draw for your playground; we cover the normal slide but encourage your growing artist to really flex their imagination. Draw twists, corkscrews, and more — the only playset that doesn’t need to be safe is an imaginary one!
- Start your slide by drawing two parallel “S” curves from the base of your fort to the ground or the bottom of the stilts your fort stands on.
- Connect the two “S” curves with a solid line. If you want a flat slide, connect the two curves with a vertical line. For a more dynamic slide, connect the two curves with a diagonal line.
The Swing Set
Every yard needs a swing set; it is a traditional part of the playground experience. Now that we have the fort and the slide, it is time to draw the swing set.
- Pick one side of the fort and draw two upside-down V’s any distance apart from each other, but make sure they are parallel.
- Connect the tops of the V’s with a horizontal line. This is the frame of the swing set.
- If you want only one swing, draw one set of vertical parallel lines starting from the top of the swing set frame and down towards the ground. If you are drawing two swings, draw two sets of vertical parallel lines.
- At the end of your parallel lines, draw a quick crescent moon or banana shape with the points of the banana connected to the lines.
Now that you have the essentials to a good playground, you will need to draw the background: This is where you can get the most creative.
- Draw a circle or other rounded shape around your entire playground. This can be the sandpit around the equipment. (Or maybe your kiddo would prefer a moat!)
- Cover the remaining blank area in bushes, trees, and other foliage. It’s time to make the surroundings fit your dream backyard fortress/jungle gym/playground.
- Make sure to add flowers or animals if you want to add more to your picture. When you aren’t using the playground, other creatures certainly do!
- Put some clouds in the sky and add the sun if you want a bright and happy day, or color a rainbow in the sky. Perhaps the sun is super stylish; then it will probably need sunglasses.
- If you are feeling adventurous, try drawing yourself and your friends playing on your playground.
Color Your Drawing
Now that you have completed your drawing, it is time to color.
Use the crayons, markers, colored pencils, or whatever other utensils you have on hand and make your creation come to life. Grass is often depicted as green (or brown in the summer), but don't let your kid feel pigeonholed by reality; imagination is power here.
Perhaps adding some fruit to the trees will make your playground equipment stand out. Or maybe instead of fruit, this forest grows ice cream (a kid can dream, right?).
Artists can even make a playground have its own color scheme. Maybe this playground was built on a cotton candy planet or under the water. Maybe the playset would look better in autumn or winter. You can also make your playground float in space — swings with zero gravity.
This is your playground, and the world is your oyster. Do whatever you like with it!
The Art of Play
Drawing is a great exercise in creativity and imagination. It is a wonderful activity for kids of all ages, and the possibilities with art are endless.
When it comes to dreaming up a one-of-kind playset, think big, think different, and think unexpected. This can include the swing set, slide, and a big fort with plenty of room to run and hide, but it can also be things that don’t quite exist yet.
Go wild with your drawing and put your own unique spin on your playground.
Your Kid Needs to Improve her Fine Motor Skills? Set up an arts and crafts station! | Today's Parent
Discovering Shapes and Space in Preschool | NAEYC
8 Ways to Help Older Kids Develop a Sense of Imagination | KQED