Graphic Design for Kids: Tools, Games & Ideas to Get Them Excited

Graphic Design for Kids: Tools, Games & Ideas to Get Them Excited

My Nephews always used to ask me What kind of Job I do and it was very difficult to explain the Graphic Designer job. Once I told them that I am a Graphic Designer and believe me they did not understand and asked me what that meant so I told them by showing Newspaper Ads, Magazine Cover Pages, and Banners Ads on the streets as an example. Then again they used to ask how you do that?

Creative thinking is a skill that anyone can use. There are plenty of tools, games, and ideas in this article to help you start those conversations with your kids to help create another generation of design thinkers.


You can help kids start thinking creatively at any age. The right toys and tools are a great place to start. And while pens and pencils are a great option, they aren’t appropriate for every age.

Get started with toys and games that encourage problem-solving at the age level of your child. Here are a few ideas.

Art Supplies

It never hurts to have plenty of art supplies around. Pens, pencils, paints and plenty of paper to create on. Create a space for kids to play with you and even draw together.

Something as simple as crayons and coloring books is enough to jump-start a child’s creativity. (And yours too.) Just having these items around the house is enough to encourage graphic design thinking.

Color Wheel

Make or buy a color wheel and talk about color theory and how it applies to design. A color wheel – especially one with moving parts – can help explain relationships between colors.

It’s a fun tool that comes with an easy-to-understand visual. (And it can help kids feel like they are playing with some of your “work toys.”)

Digital Drawing Software

We know that much of your work likely happens on a computer and your kids will know that as well. Providing a digital tool for them to dabble in graphic design is a fun option.

Tux Paint is open-source drawing software designing for children. It’s used in schools around the world and has an easy to use interface for kids ages 3 to 12. It even has a cool cartoon mascot that can help kids through creative exercises. Or you could try a simple iPad drawing app like Paper.


Make games out of everyday tasks that encourage kids to think within creative constraints. Games can be a great way to do this.

What makes a design game work is playing by the rules. Explaining to kids that you can’t just do anything you want as a graphic designer, that you have to listen to others and create something based on what they tell you.

Typography Match Game

Make your own match game in the vein of Eye Spy. Grab a stack of magazines and pick a type style; ask kids to find a matching style.

You can also play this game in the car, using road signs and billboards.

The game is a great opportunity to talk about similarities in typefaces – serifs vs. sans serifs vs. scripts, ascenders and descenders, contrast and color.

For older kids, there are plenty of font-matching games available online as well.

Draw a Picture

There’s nothing like sketching or doodling to make the design process seem like fun. And pretty much anyone can do it. (You don’t have to be a great artist.)

Take this idea from a graphic design workshop I attended and try it with the kids:

Grab one piece of paper and give everyone something to draw with. Each person gets to add to the picture as you pass it around. There are no real rules; there’s no goal in mind. Each person gets to draw something to contribute to the design as it comes to them.

You can set constraints such as each person gets to draw until they pick up the pencil or each person only gets to add one shape.

The story on paper will grow and expand and change as each person takes a turn. You might end up with a scene at a park or a silly monster.

And this design concept is just like working on projects with plenty of people involved they can always take on a shape of their own.

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