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Shape Game Resources for Teachers

Anthony Browne playing the Shape Game with children

Why play the Shape Game?

'Although on one level it’s just a game, I believe that it encapsulates the act of creation… everything comes from something else, inspiration is everywhere...'
Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne's Shape Game is a fun activity that children enjoy, but it can also be a valuable creative tool for the classroom.  Whether used as a quick arts activity, or as the starting point for a more ambitious project, the Shape Game is an effective way to develop children’s creativity and visual literacy skills.

'There is a terrible pressure on children to leave pictures behind and grow into words, as though this is an essential part of education and maturity. I strongly believe that the ability to read images is as equally important as the ability to read words,' says Anthony. 'Children generally have a much more highly-developed visual awareness than adults. What happens to this visual awareness? Where do we lose it between childhood and adulthood? I feel it is no coincidence that this happens at about the same time that children stop drawing with the natural creativity that all of them possess.'

The Shape Game – and the other imaginative drawing games and arts activities you will find in this section – provide ways to:

  • Build children’s creative abilities and promote imagination
  • Develop children’s visual literacy, including visual awareness and the understanding and appreciation of visual language
  • Promote communication, collaboration and working together
  • Aid the development of practical, technical and manual skills
  • Develop children’s ability to think independently, be adventurous, and have the confidence to express their own individual ideas
  • Make links across the curriculum
  • Celebrate and explore multiple perspectives and different ways to see and interpret the world
  • Encourage children to ask questions and be curious about the world around them
  • Develop critical thinking skills, including lateral thinking and problem solving
  • Provide an inclusive activity that pupils at different stages of development, or with different learning styles, can play together and share


Find Shape Game resources

Play the Game

Try out the Shape Game for yourself online - visit the Have Some Fun section to play this interactive version of Anthony Browne's creative drawing game.

Shape Game Gallery

View Shape Game artworks created by artists, illustrators, writers and celebrities who transformed an original shape by Anthony Browne.