5-year-old Yuvaan, 7-year-old Jeet, 8-year-old Anaya, 9-year-old Tanish and 11-year-old Adhrit, take a trip to the zoo and sketch some of the animals they see as part of an urban sketching activity. Urban sketching refers to the art of sketching on the spot, capturing the atmosphere as it is.

In October, during the ‘Herbst Ferien’, five children and their mothers went to visit the penguins and the lion at the Zurich Zoo. It was a bright, sunny day and each kid was given a small notebook and a pencil. The children were then asked to draw the animals that they found particularly interesting.

Photograph of Urban sketching at the zoo


Photograph of Urban sketching at the zoo

Walking next to a stork standing on one foot, Adhrit found it fascinating and sketched it. Tanish was curious about the camel and its multiple humps and drew that, Jeet and Anaya loved watching the ‘big cat’ taking a nap and sketched it, and the youngest of all, Yuvi, doodled a penguin very enthusiastically. And when the elephant trumpeted and thumped on the ground, their pencils sketched harder and bore imprints several pages beneath their sheets of paper!

After a picnic, they coloured animal masks and wore them.

They had limited time for sketching. It was not important how well they drew; rather, the focus was on how each kid tried to observe their surroundings. Their hands tried to represent on paper, what their eyes and brains were seeing and perceiving. The children were more sensitive to the contours, lines, colours and movements of the animals they were observing.

In today’s world, every parent is struggling to keep their children away from digital devices and the risk of digital addiction. Such ‘creative games’ may help kids get interested in trying out something new. If you keep a ‘messy table’ in any corner of your home with colour pencils, papers, strewn across, where kids can go anytime and draw something, it can provide a ‘handy’ activity of sorts.

Encourage them to journal a holiday with simple drawings, or their free time activities, sketch any ordinary object from home or anything that catches their fancy. Urban sketching is trendy and an activity even kids can learn to enjoy, so go for it! And enjoy Children’s Day.

Photograph of Urban sketching at the zoo

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