Invent a Cartoon – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Invent a Cartoon

Pick a caption and draw a funny cartoon to go with it! This activity helps children build creative thinking skills.

Materials Required

  • Paper
  • Something to write with


  1. Pick a caption from the list below.
  2. Draw a cartoon image that could be funny if put next to this caption.
  3. Share your drawing!


  • Who gave Sam the keys?
  • I can't wait until I can drive a car.
  • Yes, I know that this is very advanced for kindergarten.
  • How did you know that it is my birthday today?
  • Even after failing out of spy school, Roger is still trying to learn the basics of espionage.
  • No, you misunderstood. I said "free" not "tree!"

Additional Tips

Try these add-on activities:

  • Draw three completely different cartoons to match the same caption.
  • Play in a group and compare cartoons and captions. Pick one player’s drawing to enter a “most creative cartoon and caption” contest.

Links to Creativity

Sometimes what makes something funny is how it surprises us. In fact, a common quality of funny is when we take a common association and turn it on its head, or what is called a resolution of incongruity (i.e., making sense of the silly). If you think about it, a good joke tricks you into thinking the ending is obvious and then (BOOM!), it provides a surprise that we have to figure out. For example, the classic joke, “I just flew in from _____, and boy are my arms tired.” At the very beginning, we assume whoever told the joke flew in on a plane, but they were incongruous by suggesting that they flapped their arms like a bird in order to get to _____. This activity provides goofy examples, of which children can interpret the caption and draw a silly cartoon.

 Supporting research includes:

Filipowicz, A. (2006). From positive affect to creativity: The surprising role of surprise. Creativity Research Journal18(2), 141-152.

O’Quin, K., & Derks, P. (1997). Humor and creativity: A review of the empirical literature. In M. A. Runco (Ed.), The Creativity Research Handbook (Vol. 1) (pp. 223-252). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.


This activity was contributed by the Center for Childhood Creativity at the Bay Area Discovery Museum. For more information and resources see    ©2015 Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Invent a Cartoon

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