Erasable Drawing Activity for Kids – with Homemade Reusable Drawing Sheets

Fun, erasable drawing activity for kids of all ages! Homemade, erasable, reusable drawing sheets are fun to decorate, and they save on paper too!

If your house is like ours, your children probably go through a ton of paper doodling, drawing and tracing. I’d never discourage them from drawing. Even if the paper ends up in the trash, it’s not a waste. There’s so much creativity and learning that happens when a child puts a pencil or crayon to paper.  However, I have recently come up with an erasable drawing activity for kids that lets them draw for hours without using more than a few sheets of paper!

Erasable Drawing Activity- Happy Hooligans

How’s that possible? With two things: dry erase markers and plastic page protectors! Actually, it’s three things if you count our “erasers”.  You’ll love what we use for those!

kids drawing on reusable plastic page protectors

 

A couple of months ago, we discovered the joy of drawing on dollar store mirrors with dry erase markers  The hooligans loved the activity, and I got thinking about other surfaces we could use our markers on. The obvious would be a dry erase board, but I wanted something smaller so each child could work individually like they did with their mirrors.  That’s when it hit me: plastic page protectors!  I picked up a package, and with a permanent black marker and some white paper, I created these awesome reusable drawing sheets!

For your erasable drawing activity, you’ll need:

supplies for dry erase drawing with toddlers

For your convenience, this post includes affiliate links.  I receive a small commission when you shop through these links. 

To make your erasable drawings, use a black permanent marker to draw some simple pictures on a piece of white paper. I prefer card stock to printer paper for this because card stock is thicker and sturdier.  I like to put two drawings (on separate pieces of paper) back to back in one plastic sleeve.  With the thinner paper, the ink from one drawing shows through the second drawing.  That doesn’t happen when I use the thicker card stock.drawing on plastic page protectors with dry erase markers

The kids love decorating these simple drawings!  They use the coloured dry erase markers to fill in their pictures, and when they want to change something or start over they grab a makeup pad and wipe their drawing clean.

toddler drawing on plastic page protector

At first, we were using paper towels as erasers, but they didn’t work quite as well.  The other day when we were using cotton pads for an art activity, it occurred to me that they’d be great for our erasable drawing activities!  They’re perfect!  Easy for little hands to hold, and they remove the ink better than the paper towels did.

IMG_0597

So, what kind of pictures can you make for your erasable drawing activity?

It’s best to keep things simple, and to keep your lines to a minimum.   This gives child plenty of white space for drawing and decorating.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

Christmas Tree –  your child can “decorate” it with the markers

Outline of a House – child fills in windows, doors, chimneys, tree, garden etc.

Various Head Shapes – your child can fill in hair and facial features 

Easter Egg – you child can decorate with spots and stripes

Initials of your Child’s Name – decorate and colour

Simple Animal Outlines – for your child to fill in: fish, cat etc.

Outline of a Person – your child can draw hair, clothing, face etc.

Simple Shapes – triangle, circle, square etc.  See what your child turns them into.

If you can think of some ideas other than the ones I’ve listed here, I’d love it if you’d leave them in a comment at the bottom of this post for me.  I’d really like to add some more drawing sheets to our collection.

dry erase marker and drawing in plastic page protector

For now though, we’re happy to keep using (and reusing) ours!  They’ve been a hit!

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Yours in play, Jackie from Happy Hooligans

41 comments to Erasable Drawing Activity for Kids – with Homemade Reusable Drawing Sheets

  • Peggy

    I love this idea. I made a similar binder full of dot to dot pages and letter tracing, and put them in the page protectors. :)

  • Heather

    Love this idea! My 3yo son loves playing with our dry erase board. Being able to make different pictures/shapes to start drawing from is genius! You could also make a flower pot, a car shape, an under water scene… The possibilities are endless!

  • Barbara

    Brilliant! I especially will use this with my toddlers who are all about the process. Thanks!

  • Brandi

    This is great! One of those “why didn’t I think of that!” I have a binder filled with homemade erasable pages already for my daughter and this will be a great addition! Your question got me thinking, how about pumpkins to turn into jack-o-lanterns, an empty dinner plate, a snowman, bakery items to decorate (cakes, cookies, etc), bare trees (seasons, fruits, pretend trees – like a lollipop tree), basic outlines of monsters or aliens, simple underwater scene they can add to – leave a bit of room at the top for the water/ sky line so boats can be drawn. :)

  • Lara

    I just did something similar to this, I have a laminator and printed out some sheets put two together and laminated them, he can use a better brand of crayon and color on them, they erase like a charm. I also did some pages that he can practice printing his name. I’m going to whip up an eraser to go with it as well. I did that for my daughter for a morning check list because she kept forgetting to make her bed and brush her hair (I know right) and it’s worked wonderfully, it hangs on her door with a crayon she can check it off when the task is completed.

  • Love the idea of the erasable sheets and the cotton makeup pads for erasers….However, I would leave the pages blank…..otherwise it’s simply an erasable ditto or worksheet (which isn’t really appropriate for preschoolers ……especially toddlers)……..I’m reminded of the famous quote “dittos don’t develop dendrites” and concerned that we seem to see more and more of these worksheets for younger children…whether it’s regular paper or erasable.

    • happyhooligans

      Thank you for your input, Joan. If this were the only “creative” activity we were to do here, I would agree, but the hooligans are given plenty of opportunities, every day,
      to explore a wide variety of artistic, craft and sensory materials. We have done literally hundreds of open-ended art projects with natural, man-made and recycled materials over the years. This is just one of many, many creative activities that the children do on any given day in my care. I hope you’ll take some time to look through the hundreds of activities on my site to see some of the truly wonderful ways we explore and create here in my daycare.

      • Joan Rocchetta

        didn’t mean to imply that there was any lack of creative ideas……it’s just a concern that teachers and parents think worksheets have value for young children…..I worry about “mixed messages”. I have looked at the other ideas and share them with my college students and colleagues. Now that our weather is warming, I can’t wait til I can get outside with my grandchildren to try your bubble recipe!!!!

  • Sandra aka Nana

    I made several of these today and my 5 year old grandson said, ‘Nana this is a GREAT idea, thank you for making them!!” Thank YOU for giving me such great ideas. We’ve made the toilet paper roll chicks and birds and put them in a paper bag nest and made cork stamp flowers with buttons in the middle My grandson made a ‘ghost’ mask out of the part of the bag we cut off of the bag to make the nest. I cut out shapes, (hearts, girl, boy, cross, circle and square) on the folds of my bag cut off. We had a blast. We’ll be making more of your creations I’m sure…keep ‘em coming!!!

    • happyhooligans

      That’s so fantastic, Sandra! I’m just thrilled that you’re trying so many of our ideas with your grandson! What a lucky, little guy to have a Nana as fun and creative as you. Just think of the memories he’ll have of your times together as he gets older! God bless. x

  • Fab idea. I also use old CDs as a dry wipe surface for writing/drawing on. My kids love the shiny surface :)

  • Great idea! Each of my girls has a “Game Book” – a binder filled with activity pages in page protectors. I hadn’t thought of putting drawing prompts in there, though. I’ll be doing that this evening! Thanks. :)

    • Oh, I forgot to mention: we use baby washcloths as erasers. Each child keeps 1 or 2 in a 3-ring pencil case with her dry erase markers, and when they get really stained, we just toss them in the washing machine with a load of laundry! Cuts down on the waste. :)

  • Janika

    Hi! Lovely idea! Could you tell me whether dry-erase markers can be “erased” from little fingers/cheeks/table top too? My son is 2, and wondering if he’s too young.. He likes doodle and draw, though. What brand of dry-erase markers are you using? Thanks!

    • happyhooligans

      I’m not sure what brand ours are, Janika. We use several brands actually. I’ve not had any problems with them. The “ink” (which is like a fine powder) wipes right off our table top if the kids happen to get any on it.

    • Marilyn

      I got some erasable crayons at Lakeshore Learning (you can probably get them online, too) that might also flil the bill. They are more difficult to erase, but the kids can get a little workout that way! : )

  • Allie

    Love the idea. Went out today and bought some of the material and did it for my 2 year old. He loved it.

  • I absolutely LOVED this idea! I went and bought the stuff I needed and got started right away! My kids and also all the kids at church loved this! I did add my own thing and they loved it! I put some coloring book pages in the sleeves too! Thank you for this great idea!

    • happyhooligans

      That’s fantastic, Angel! I love the idea of colouring pages! This activity has so many possibilities, doesn’t it?

      • Absolutely! Oh! We also made one sheet full of tic-tax-toe lines all over it! We made a space for names and of course for cat! LOL And my niece and I made a hangman sheet! Had letters at the top to mark out and lady the bottom blank for the letter spaces for the words :)

      • happyhooligans

        Yes! The hooligans are learning to spell their names with ours too! So many great ideas! Love the hangman one! I was just playing that with my son last night! On paper though. lol

  • Rachel

    This would be great for when it is Eid or Diwali and making Mendhi/henna hand patterns on a hand outline.

  • Tracy A

    Using chipboard (cut to size shirt boxes, cereal boxes) in-between two sheets of regular copy paper substitutes for cardstock stability. Love this project!

  • I buy age appropriate learning workbooks, cover the pages with slick, clear Contact. The books get used over and over by multiple children using dry erase pens.

  • Alyssia

    For older kids: spelling words, clocks for telling time, 3d shapes, vocab art, ven diagrams

  • This is the BEST thing I’ve seen in a long time! I can’t wait to make it for our next trip.

  • Carrie

    I use this idea in my preschool classroom. We use old socks as erasers. Old gloves or mittens would probably work too! :) Can also clip to a clipboard to make more portable!

  • mwass

    I use old picture albumes put paper under under plastic and old socks for eraesers

  • Samanthia Hall

    I took apart an activity book. Then I put the pages into page protectors, with card stock between I also put the pencil pouch with dry erase markers and Visa vi (overhead pens). I put all of this in 2″ under.
    As my granddaughter grew I changed out the pages.
    I used pages with lines for her to practice printing. Now she is learning to tell time. I put in a page of clock faces, she draws on hands.

  • Thamara

    Hi there! Super awesome idea. I was just curious as to whether or not you can get the ink from the skin. You answered a similar comment above but only with respect to surfaces. What about little hands, fingers and faces?

  • Marilyn

    Another idea: You could draw a big empty face and have the kids fill in the features to show different emotions. Great way to talk about feelings and empathy.

  • Gail Duff

    This idea was developed in the early 90s by a company called Eraseable Kids Coloring Book in Portland Oregon. I am sure they would not appreciate you copying their book or idea. Might be some legal problems?

    • happyhooligans

      No legal ramifications to worry about here, Gail. If there were, no-one would be able to make their own play-dough, finger-paints, building blocks etc. I have not infringed on any copyright or trademark laws here. No worries. But thanks for looking out for me.

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