Mar 2, 2010

A View into their World: Drawing/Coloring with your Child

I love to do art projects with my son! Drawing, painting, coloring, crafts --- it’s always fun to see what 4-year-old Ethan creates --- and it’s always interesting to hear him describe his artwork. I find it is often a window into what Ethan is thinking or feeling ---- or what he is interested in --- or how he views the world.

So let me share one of our art experiences with you. One snowy day we pulled out "Doodles", a unique art book from Japanese author, Taro Gomi. I just LOVE this book (and Ethan does too)! It is filled with imaginative, unfinished sketches for children (of all ages!) to build on. In some cases, the facing pages have the same sketch on each side. This is great for a parent and child (or 2 children) to draw side by side (and chat!) --- or for a single child to explore 2 different options. We used Stockmar stick crayons to draw with (love these non-toxic beeswax crayons with beautiful colors!). We use both Stockmar block and stick crayons for our art projects.

"Doodles" and Stockmar stick crayons in wooden box:



















Choosing the perfect color:



















Ethan and I colored the “Fill these trees with fruit” sketches from "Doodles" side-by-side.

Our side-by-side drawings of fruit trees:



















I simply drew some apples on my tree. Ethan was far more creative! He drew an “orange and grapefruit” tree, prompting interesting discussion on how many types of fruit can grow on a single tree --- and how trees grow fruit. He loved adding long branches for the fruit to hang from. Often when you work side-by-side with a child (especially with boys), they chatter away and you get a view what they are thinking. Ethan talked about how strong the branches were on his tree so they could hold the fruit…and he told me my tree branches must not be strong because it looked like some of the apples were rolling off the tree. (Hey! I didn’t think my apples looked like they were rolling off the tree!) Ethan also commented that the fruit on his tree was really yummy because the tree got lots of sun and water.

Ethan next drew 2 types of faces side-by-side, one happy and one looking sad.

Ethan’s side-by-side faces:



















When I asked him about the emotions in the faces, he said, “I’m happy.” And then when I asked, “Why a sad face here Ethan?” and he replied, “I’m a dad now and I’m grumpy.” LOL. I couldn’t stop chuckling as my husband had been crabby that morning and this “grumpy” face must have came from that memory (kids don’t miss a thing, do they?) We labeled the frowning face “Grumpity Lumpity” which has become our term when anyone is crabby in our house --- and it always brings a smile to a grumpy face!

We draw in "Doodles" often --- and it is always fun and insightful. A recent drawing of “add smoke to the smokestacks” prompted a great discussion about pollution and keeping the earth clean.

So go ahead and draw or “Doodle” your way into your child’s mind! And enjoy the view!!!