Children's Moon Journal. How we study the moon. 🌙 3-5yrs+ (free journal download)
Montessori & Chess - how & why. At 3-6yrs+.

Using drawing prompts. 3-5yrs+

Drawing prompt hearts at hwm

Have you used drawing prompts with your children? It's something I really love to do. I believe in process art and believe children benefit from free and open access to art materials. But I also like to present art activities to stretch their minds and their imaginations, to introduce new concepts and to encourage exploration of art, form, colour and materials.

We recently had little visitors, and I put out some drawing prompts, paper, oil pastels, markers and pencils. It was a complete success! The four and five-year-olds loved the spirals, stairs and hearts. The seven-year-old loved drawing arrows and stars. 

Best of all, I could really see each child stop, pause and think while they were drawing, to draw the stairs go down, not up, or to work out how to make a square-based spiral. I could see the hand working with the mind.  The prompts I had out include zig zag, hearts, spirals, waves, branches, arrows, stairs, stars, dotted lines, parabolas, infinity signs, ticks, parallel lines, meander and loops. The results were super cute. 

Drawing prompt meander at How we Montessori Otto 4 years

This can also work as a language lesson, we can give the child the name of shapes and patterns, this is a meander, this a spiral, this is a zig zag. 

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

The drawing prompts can be used with a sand tray. The sand tray is a great way to practice. We could also use the prompts with paint, paint sticks or with finger painting. Some of the drawing prompts, like waves, zig zags, and dotted lines could be used by young children from 2.5-3yrs. 

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

To make a sand tray at home, I add food colouring to salt (cheap salt we keep at home in bulk to make playdough). Stir in the colouring really well and allow to dry. Then I add the coloured salt to the tray (I use a tray from Ikea), but a baking tray will work fine. Alternatively, you could use coloured sand from education stores.

Demonstrate to the child how we can use our fingers to draw in the salt/sand. Once the child has finished drawing, gently shake the tray from side to side to even out the surface. 

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

Some of the stars are challenging. ✨ I love that this demonstrates there is more than one way to draw something. 

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

Spirals were the most popular! On the prompt card, some spirals go clockwise, and some go anticlockwise. 
Zig zag drawing prompt (1)

Stairs. These drawings are by four and five-year-olds. 

Zig zag drawing prompt (1)


Drawing prompts like this are easy to DIY. Most of the children I presented them to are pre-readers, so the text is for the adult or for older children; however, the younger children knew what to do. If you want to use these drawing prompts, I've put them on Etsy here (

For those who have asked before, I use a corner cutter (similar to this) to trim the corners of my printouts and some of our art paper. Corner cutters can be found at stationary and scrapbooking stores. 

If you use the drawing prompts, please let me know! I'd love to hear. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you so much for your support! 

comments powered by Disqus