A few years ago, I was looking for a creative challenge that would appeal to all my kids, ranging at the time from age six to fourteen. I wanted something that was age appropriate for all, required no prep, and could be done on a regular basis. The humble Squiggle – a simple idea I picked up from my mentor teacher when I was student teaching many moons ago – was exactly what I was looking for. It is a simple concept with huge potential for creativity and fun.
What is a Squiggle? It is nothing more than a sheet of paper with a few random “squiggles” on it.
What do you do with a Squiggle, you wonder? Well, the challenge is to seamlessly incorporate it into a drawing. You know you have done well if someone takes a look at your art and has a difficult time identifying the original Squiggle because you have so successfully built your design around it.
As fun as a Squiggle can be on its own, the fun explodes exponentially if you invite multiple people to do the same Squiggle. It is fascinating to see the variety of designs that can come from one little squiggle on a page.
For example, both of these drawings came from the same Squiggle. (For more examples of Squiggles and their resulting artwork, see the original post about Squiggles at Season of Wonder.)
During the “Year of the Squiggle,” Friday became “Squiggle Day.” In stolen pockets of time throughout the day everyone would work in secret, barricaded behind binders and hard-covered books so that no one would get a sneak peak of their work and “steal their idea.” When everyone was ready, we would gather together in the living room and one by one the Squiggles would be revealed with much fanfare. Ta-da!
Then, after laughing at the silliness and marveling at the creativity, I would tuck the Squiggles into a large binder labeled “Great Minds Think DIFFERENTLY.” The kids loved to page through it as the collection grew each week.
My husband and I didn’t always find time to work on a Squiggle ourselves, but it is worth noting that the kids loved it when we did. Squiggles alone are fun, sibling Squiggles are great, and whole family Squiggles are the very best.
Using the models above, grab a piece of paper and a black marker, and squiggle a Squiggle into existence. Make a copy for everyone in the family and watch the creativity fly!
This article first appeared on Season of Wonder