1 Box, 5 steps, Tons of Inspiration

Make a box of art inspiration in a few minutes, and enjoy it forever!

1. Gather together: 1 small card file or other box, some index cards (in various colors if possible), colored pens

2. Take a batch of cards in one color (or put a color along the edge so they'll be easy to sort later) and write one noun on each one (creatures or humans). Like: ballerina, dolphin, fire fighter, astronaut, snake, butterfly

3. Take another batch of cards in another color and write one adjective on each one. Use colorful words like: spiky, spotted, angry, smelly, hairy, gigantic, nervous

4. Take another batch of cards in another color and write one place on each one. Like: the moon, the beach, the ocean, the grocery store, the dentist

5. Stick all the cards, in categories into the box. Voila!

EXTRA CREDIT: Decorate the box. Mine says "Betsy's Art Box" on it and has glitter and stickers.

Have at it!! Here are several games you can play:

Draw two adjective cards and a noun card, and draw the resulting character.

Noun goes to Place:
Draw a noun card and a place card, then draw a scene or a comic about the result.

Draw two noun cards, and draw a character that combines the two.

Adjective-Noun goes to Place:
Draw an adjective card, noun card and place card. Draw the resulting character and the story of what happens in drawing or comic form.

Extra Goodness:

- For kids, I let them sift through the cards until they find something appealing. No harm in that.

- It's great to freshen up your word cards, or add new ones, every so often. That's a big part of the fun.

- This is a terrific vocabulary builder for young readers/writers, both using the cards and making up the words to put on them.

- It's also great for English language learners. I've never tried making a bilingual box, but that could be really cool. If you do, tell me!

- If you have a visual dictionary around, might be good to keep it handy. So when someone draws a card that says, "wombat" or something, they can look up what the thing actually looks like.

- This can also be really nice on car trips, though I must say that no matter where you use it, total card spillage is pretty much inevitable - hence the color coding.