Friday, June 04, 2010

Squiggles and Holes

I've been seeing a lot of posts pop up recently about what moms are planning to do with their kids during the summer. Annette has a post up about children's reading programs, Stephanie offered a list of 1oo Free (or almost free) Summer Fun Activities and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers offered a list of things to do when the kids are becoming bored.

As for me and my house - summer is probably our busiest time of the year! It's wedding season and Jonathan and I don our wedding photographers hat. In between the weekends, we look for ways to keep life cool, calm and relaxed.

Gearing up for pre-school next year, I'd really like to spend this summer preparing Bookworm for the fine art of coloring. (See? A simple activity. But one that we don't actually do very often.)

I have a child who doesn't really like to draw anything that doesn't have eight tentacles. Oh wait! That's not true. He'll also draw jellyfish and anchors and if you've ever received a card or mail from him, you know this to be true. His artwork involves sea themed creatures!

I've been trying to think of ways to get him to see beyond the "swirlies" of the octopus tentacle (as he refers to them) and so I was rather excited to see the following two drawing books which are both published by Seven Footer Press:

We started our journey into the "unknown" with Squiggles! I figured this would be a good way to ease away from the "swirlies" and create loops that looked like other animals and things. Normally, Bookworm1 will have little or nothing to do with coloring or drawing books, but this one is different. This one provides colorful pictures for the children to add their own squiggles to. (Hence the name. Brilliant, hmm?) For example, upon opening the book you find a page spread of white sheep on a green field. Add squiggles to the white of the sheep, and you've just given them fluffy wool! Squiggles can bring ordinary pictures to life. With a few loop-de-loops you can add icing to cake, a beard to a face, and - yes, it's true! - waves to an ocean scene that even features our beloved friend, the octopus. (My heart sunk and Bookworm1's began to soar when he saw that!)

Slowly but surely he began to see that squiggles can make so much more than just an octopus tentacle. I'm trying to broaden his horizons and I honestly think that Squiggles! is helping. I've begun making my own marks on paper on our Magna Doodle and asking Bookworm1 the imaginative question: "What do YOU see here?" (Swim away from the octopus, son! Swim away and see what the rest of the world has to offer!)

Holes! is a coloring book like none other that you have ever seen! Each page spread offers a scene which contains some holes in it. You color in the holes, turn the page, and discover a whole new scene which you have already created. Even Jonathan was super impressed by this coloring book! Want to know if Bookworm1 was? Well, behold the text on one particular page spread:

"A girl octopus and a girl octopus squirt ink into the hole.
Color the hole with lots of circles and curly patterns."
You then color in the hole, turn the page (away from the octopus) and you discover that what you've actually created is a squiggly mouth and beard on a man's face.

I really do like these books because, as I said, Bookworm1 is not naturally artistic. It takes a lot of convincing and coaxing to get him to pick up a pen or some colors. He just isn't interested. However, these books gave him a launching pad to work off of and he genuinely seemed to get into the swing of things. Anything that helps him see pictures in the world around him is going to get a thumbs up from me so here you go:

Thanks, Seven Footer Press, for allowing us the opportunity to check these two books out!


monica @ said...

I didn't know you did wedding photography. that's hard work. back in the day (not married, college life), I worked at a banquet hall. those photogs had to hustle. lots of crowd control, not so good listeners, etc. I bet you see a lot of that

Stephanie Kay said...

These sound really fun! I have one that can take or leave drawing, one that is fantastic at it, another that enjoys a little, and a 19 month old who pulls out the paper and crayons on his own ALL the time! I might should pick these up to add to our collection.

Sky said...

My kids don't really color or draw willingly, Max likes to build stuff with rocks, blocks and LEGOs, Tavis likes to rip and cut paper into all sorts of shapes to make his own sort of picture, Ziva likes to draw on walls and tables but not on paper or coloring books...
These books sounds fun! It would be interesting to see if they expanded my kid's art horizons!

Annette W. said...

That sounds so fun!

My MIL makes wedding cakes for a side job...and her summer is busy too. Have fun photographing with Jonathan!

Thanks for linking to me. I ended up enrolling both children in the library's summer reading program, bc it does help them with grants!

Unknown said...

Kyle comes and goes with his willingness to color. He actually colors and draws quite well, but it isn't often an activity of choice.

tmu said...

maybe bkwm #1 would initially enjoy something more tactile, such as finger paint, play-dough, etc, over crayons?

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