The card game comes in a plastic case with 54 playing cards. There are five different categories - face, nose, eyes, mouth and hair with 9 cards in each category.
It is very simple to get started. Grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Read the step by step directions as you go (they contain some helpful drawing tips so I would go through the direction cards). So you start by picking one face card. You draw whatever face card you selected on your paper. Continue on adding the nose, eyes, mouth and hair from the cards you selected. The Pick and Draw cards break down the drawing of the cartoon character into simple steps instead of tackling drawing a cartoon character all at once. This is an excellent benefit to students who struggle with motor planning and visual perceptual deficits.
If you have a group, you can all draw the same features. Below is a picture of 5 different cartoon faces but each artist had all the same facial variation cards to create their cartoon character.
The group wanted to keep playing so next they tried each picking their own cards to create their cartoon character.
Some of the children chose to name their characters. Overall, this is an excellent, fun drawing activity for abilities of all ages. Many of the kids started out the activity complaining... "I am not good at drawing" but after playing the game they were ALL impressed with how their cartoon characters turned out. Quite a few commented... "I didn't think I could draw this good" and "This helped me to draw better". Who doesn't want to hear that after any activity but it is especially wonderful if you are working with a child who struggles with drawing and visual motor control.
So far, I used the cards with individual children, a group of four children with a 4 year age span between them and a group of 10 children with varying drawing abilities. Managing the individual lesson or the groups were a breeze because the activity goes step by step making it easy to offer tips to everyone during the drawing process. And, as we all know that can be success in itself with pediatric group therapy sessions.
If you wanted to add in more therapeutic activities to the game you could:
- place each child's paper on an easel or on the wall to encourage wrist extension while drawing.
- you could place the cards on the floor and the child would have to squat down to get each facial feature to draw.
- place the cards around the room and the child has to scooter board or perform different animals walks to retrieve the cards.
- put the cards on the floor, the child stands behind a line and throws a bean bag at a card. Draw that feature.
Interestingly, the Pick and Draw Game was just awarded the "Seal of Approval" by The National Parenting Center this last week which is a highly sought after award. I certainly concur and would give it a seal of approval as well. I was financially compensated for this post but the opinions are completely my own based on my experience. I would love to see more cards that included the rest of the body.
In summary, the positives about the Pick and Draw Card game are:
- Excellent tool to teach drawing skills.
- Step by step instruction breaks the large task of drawing a cartoon into smaller chunks.
- Works well with a large group and with children of varying abilities.
- Children reported that they felt that it improved their drawing skills.
- Children participated throughout the entire activity without complaint.
- Small and compact.
- You can play for a few minutes or for as long as you wish.
- Book helps expand ideas to do with the cards and to apply to educational goals.
- Sparks creativity.
- Fun, fun, fun!
Here are the negatives:
- One complaint but I have a simple fix - I wish the plastic card case for the cards closed better. It does come in a paper sleeve too but if you just toss the cards in the case into the black abyss of a therapy bag while traveling school to school it may open up. If you are like me, always in a rush and somewhat disorganized I would wrap a rubber band around the case to ensure that the cards stay together.