Blind Drawing

Here’s a great game for a slumber party or wintry night. Everyone gets a piece of paper and pencil and follows the team leader’s directions for drawing a picturesque scene. The catch? All drawings are done in the dark! The results are pretty hysterical once the lights are turned on -- giving new meaning to the term “Picasso-esque!"

Age
Preschool, School-age, Tween, Teen, Adult, Senior
Number of Players
2, 3 to 4, 5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+
Prep Time
5 minutes or less
Activity Length
5 - 15 minutes
Team Division
Every man for himself (individual players)
Competitiveness
Non-competitive (cooperative)
Difficulty
Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Indoor/Outdoor
Indoors
Space Needed
Small (a clearable open space the size of a 1-car garage), Medium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage)
Noise Level
Quiet
Mess Factor
Clean and tidy
Supplies
  • Paper (at least one sheet per player)
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, or some sort of writing implement (at least one per player)
  • Writing surface (tables, clipboard, book, floor, etc.)
  • A dark room
  • Blindfolds (one per player; optional)
Setup

1. Have everyone find a comfortable place to sit - they will either need a hard surface on which they can draw.
2. Hand everyone a piece of paper and a pencil.
3. Designate the “leader.” This person will lead the group by explaining what they are going
to draw.
4. Turn out the lights to make the room as dark as possible. Players should not be able to see their paper. Should you be playing during the day, blindfolds may be used.

How to Play

1. As soon as everyone is settled, turn out the lights (or put on your blindfolds).
2. Have the leader begin giving directions (make sure to pause after each line to allow for drawing) For example, they might start with:“I’d like you to draw the outline of a house. Just a simple little house, right in the middle of the page... Now, beside the house I’d like you to add a tree, a medium sized tree, not too big, not too small... Oh, I forgot! You need a front door on your house. Please draw a front door so that the people can come in and out easily... Oh, did I tell you there are apples in your tree? Draw a few apples, maybe 5 or 6, in your tree now... And don’t forget the windows in the house! I think two would be nice... Did I remind you to draw a chimney? Let's put a chimney on the house, with some smoke coming out the top... Oh, and look! There’s a dog in the yard... And a picket fence... And of course there’s a family..."
The scene can be anything, from the interior of a room, to a cityscape, or even a shoe. The idea is to keep things simple, but mix them up in such a way that the images will appear jumbled on the page. I would suggest no more than 7 to 10 elements per drawing.
3. Once the last item has been described, turn on the lights and have everyone share their masterpieces!

Variations

1. Give everyone their own set of crayons or markers. Each time you add a new element, have them use a different color from the pack.
2. Have everyone sit in a circle (this would work well for smaller groups) - and each time you have added an item, have the players shift their paper to their right, to that their neighbor adds the next element.

Tips

1. Make sure everyone is comfortable and has enough room.
2. Make sure no one has anxieties about turning off the lights.
3. Encourage people not to get caught up in drawing too much, keep it simple.
4. Keep the game moving along. Take only about 5 to 10 seconds per element.
5. You may want to separate any rambunctious kids that tend to provoke each other - just so they can focus on the paper, instead of attacking each other ninja-style in the cover of darkness.
6. You may need to remind players to keep their free hand on the edge of the paper to keep it from sliding around. You could also use a clipboard to hold the paper in place and make it easier to handle.