Sometime back, wandering through the blogosphere, I stumbled upon this blog post on Pinterest and it immediately piqued my interest. It combined two things we love to do in our family: read and draw.
One rainy afternoon, instead of reading books, we started writing one. M and I have been reading books together for quite some time now, but we had never written one together. We started with the easiest prompt: I Like. Because my son wanted to draw all the illustrations by himself, it made work easier because I didn’t have to search for images and cut them to size so that he could paste them.
And so it began. We took a small size sketch book, marker / sketch pens and began drawing.
This is M thinking of what to draw and how to draw it, because he was not happy with the first draft. By the way, this is supposed to be a butterfly laying eggs on a leaf.
Here are some of the pages from his book.
He is curious about ants and so it was the first illustration he made.
Then he loves watching elephants at the zoo. So that became the second one. However, the ants from the previous page were crawling all over the elephant, but because the elephant was a Big Boy, he was smiling and not crying.
It was difficult for him to draw a frog, but he persisted.
While making this particular illustration, he was more into telling me the story of a big sunfish, other fish and octopi in the sea. And he even forgot to write that he liked the sea. He lost himself in drawing the waves and telling me why the sea was so turbulent.
After he was done. We made a simple cover for the book and he wrote down his name with a flourish. And just like that his first book as an author was ready.
All it took, apart from a sketchbook and colors, was a simple prompt to get him thinking. We did this activity over a period of a week. He even carried the sketchbook to my office and sat drawing in it, while I worked.
It is an excellent way to introduce initial writing concepts, and most importantly expressing himself based on one’s own life experiences and have fun doing it.
Here are some prompts to get you started
- I Like
- I like to
- I went to
- I am
- Things in my home
- I saw a ____________ in the zoo
- I can ______
Some ideas for illustrating your own book
- Cut out pictures from magazines / old books and paste them.
- Collect leaves, seeds and shells and color / paste / cut them. There are so many things that you can do with found objects.
- Take photographs and develop them and then paste onto the pages of a book.
- Also, older kids can think of a storyline and then illustrate it. My friend actually took a story book making workshop. You can read all about it here.
I hope you enjoy this activity with your kids or maybe you can try that for yourself too!