Using Graph Boxes to Create an “Out of the Box” Art Project

At our house the summer struggle to keep the children occupied by something other than an electronic device continues. Each day I look for new directions to aim my geeklings that will not only be away from their tablets and the tv, but will challenge them a bit.

As I hunted the Internet yet again for inspiration, I came across an interesting art idea on DIY mom, Toni, shared her idea for graph paper art. Upon seeing the craft, I thought of my two Minecraft loving kids. I saw it as instead of using blocks on their tablets to design something, they could do it on graph paper. Figured it was worth a shot.


I showed my two artists the idea and my 11 year-old thought it was cool and got right to work. My 6 year-old looked at me like I was crazy and asking him to create the Mona Lisa or something. So as my daughter furiously filled in square after square with purpose, my son and I sat down to try to come up with an idea.


After dismissing most of my suggestions, he agreed to try to create a cat with me. We discussed how to use the squares to shape the cat and the words he wanted to write. Working with a child that loves more of freeform style of drawing than structured style was a bit of a challenge. Determining how to make what you want when there are only straight lines to work with takes some thinking and patience. It in a way forces the artist to analyze the image from another perspective. Though there was some frustration during the design process, in the end, I think that the project pushed both of my children to think “outside the box” all while using boxes.

Later on, both kids decided to design another graph paper art project. This time my son decided to make Minecraft blogger, Stampy Cat‘s character; while my daughter tried her hand at starting a quilted looking design. The fact that both were happy to do the project again puts this art idea in the “win” column for mom. With a notebook of graph paper and a pack of colored pencils, the kids can stretch their minds and build their art skills all at the same time. Definitely an art project to make a little time to try out this summer.


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