family drawing game

Doodling is making a comeback. It’s easy to see why. First of all, it’s fun. Secondly, there are no rules. Third, it doesn’t have to be good or fancy to have some pretty significant impacts on learning.

For instance, did you know that doodlers are more successful at recalling boring info than non-doodlers? Up to 29% more successful. Doodling can also help you focus and concentrate. Plus, it helps trigger a-ha moments.

Here’s a family game that gets everyone doodling and firing up the neurons. It’s based on a game from the 1900s called Exquisite Corpse. Now my kids think the name sounds pretty grim. But since it’s a French parlor game invented by Surrealists they couldn’t call it something mundane or pedestrian like, “The Collaborative Drawing Game.”

This activity is a great one to have up your sleeve when you’re waiting for an appointment, getting your oil changed, out to eat, trying to detox from screens or any time the family needs a silly break. All you need is a piece of paper and something to draw with.

How to Play

Take a piece of paper. Fold it in quarters to create four panels.

The first player draws a head on the top most panel, then passes it to the next player. That player unfolds the next panel and draws shoulders and torso. The third player unfolds the paper and draws the waist and bottom, and passes it to the fourth player. That player finishes the drawing with legs and feet.

Once your collaborative drawing is finished, pass it around. The result is often hilarious.

family doodle game
this drawing game was invented by Surrealists
a drawing game that's fun for the whole family
learn about the power of doodling with this fun family drawing game


Kids of all drawing ages can play this one. And don’t worry if you’re afraid you’re not good at drawing or your kids say they aren’t. A triangle can become a head; a circle, a body. Also, since it’s not a competition encourage everyone to keep things loose. With my kids, I found I had to emphasize that the styles did not have to match—in fact, that was part of the fun.


You can also play this game with words instead of pictures to create a collaborative story. Write a sentence on a sheet of paper and fold it over to cover up everything but the last word. Then pass it to the next player so he/she can add another sentence. Continue passing it around until everyone has had a turn. Then read your story aloud.

I hope you all have a good laugh with this one. Happy doodling!

More Adventures In Learning

About Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper is the blogger behind, an online resource for creative families.  Her favorite past times include: dancing around her living room, watching the Pink Panther with her kids and daydreaming. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband, photographer Dave Cooper, and two children. 

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  • Tori

    I’m not sure if this is what is intended but not stated (it might more interesting and/or just another fun way to do it, if it were): Are you supposed to hide the section you have drawn and let the next person draw their part blindly?

    • JustSayPA

      You would have to imagine that was the point.