Recreation Therapy Activity Ideas: Leisure Draw It!



“Leisure Draw It!” is a favorite of my at-risk youth during Leisure Education group. This activity idea is based loosely on the game Pictionary® but with a few twists. There is minimal prep work involved, and it could be played just about anywhere with small to medium groups.

Populations Served

This is an appropriate game for most populations that have the basic ability to read, write, and draw.

Need Areas Addressed

Self-expression,creativity, leisure education exploration, following rules, problem solving, fine and gross motor skills, teamwork, competition, sportsmanship, taking turns, decision making, various social skills.

Materials Needed

White board and dry erase markers (or easel with paper and markers)

Small squares of paper about 2” x 2”

Writing utensils

Watch or clock


  1. Divide your group into two teams. Hand out a stack of paper squares and writing utensils to each team.
  2. Have each team write down a positive leisure activity on each paper square. Discussion about what constitutes a positive leisure activity may be necessary depending on the population. Explain to the clients the leisure activities they write down will be for the other team to draw and figure out. Encourage the clients to think of challenging activities to make the game more interesting. For instance, drawing “water polo” is much harder than drawing “basketball.”
  3. Collect each team’s stack of cards and have them ready. Decide which team will draw first. Also decide a fair time limit for the drawer’s team to guess the drawing.
  4. The designated drawer cannot use letters, numbers, or speak while drawing the leisure activity. Only the drawer’s team has unlimited guesses until the time limit expires. If someone guesses what the drawing is, award their team one point.
  5. If time expires, the other team will have one guess to steal. Let them confer for a few seconds then give a team guess. A steal is also worth a point.
  6. Continue the game alternating the drawing team until a set point goal is reached or the group is nearly over.


  • The group facilitator will decide if the activity on the card is an appropriate leisure activity.
  • If the activity seems especially hard to draw and the drawer wants to attempt it, allow extra time.
  • If the group is really into the game participants may be blurting out several answers at once. Tell the group that you need to personally hear the correct answer (or a close variation of it, at your discretion) to award the point.
  • Allow each team to have a designated amount of “passes” if the drawer does not know the activity or cannot draw it.
  • Encourage the drawer to keep drawing or try a new way to render the activity.
  • For some groups, points aren’t necessary. The game is engaging with or without them.
  • Adaptive drawing equipment may be necessary depending on your participant’s needs.

Debriefing Questions

Which leisure activities were the easiest to draw? The hardest?

Were there any unfamiliar leisure activities mentioned during this game?

What were some of your favorite leisure activities drawn on the board?

What struggles did you have trying to draw the pictures?

How did it feel not being able to talk to your teammates while drawing?

Did your team find it hard to come up with many positive leisure activities at the beginning of the game?

How did it feel when you couldn’t figure out what was being drawn on the board?


This is an easy, go-to game appropriate for many leisure education groups. Challenging the teams to brainstorm leisure activities the other team has to draw adds an exciting twist. Enjoy!

Have you ran an activity similar to this? What worked best for your group?

What are some of your favorite go-to leisure education games?


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