Teach children to observe, and you’ll learn far more from them in return. If it is an apple that’s beside you, show them how it feels to touch the smooth surface, the depth of reds in its skin, the lines and textures and those little patterns on it.
Summer afternoons are perfect to spend time with your kid. Forget the boundaries of colouring books and find a new way of looking at things.
Who can resist the joy of playing with colours or the fun in capturing a form within the lines! It’s time to capture the colours of all things bright and beautiful around us. There’s a lot of inspiration around us to start the exercise of drawing/painting. All you need to do is look around slowly and help your child observe and appreciate the surroundings.
Teach children to observe, and you’ll learn far more from them in return.
If it is an apple that’s beside you, show them how it feels to touch the smooth surface, the depth of reds in its skin, the lines and textures and those little patterns on it. It could be a bird in your garden; talk about its size, the colour and the span of its wings as it flies or the lightness of its little steps. It could even be the sky and its moods during a day or when it rains and smiles in a rainbow. It could be the car that they love to play with, the sand toys or flying aeroplanes – Everything has the potential to become your inspiration.
And if you still need help you always have the Internet. They have lots of free printables/ideas for kids’ drawings and paintings. Kids can look at the screens (out of the many available around them) and draw the forms on paper. They have simple step-by-step methods to make a drawing. You can also get books like these from the stores which help the kids learn simple drawing and techniques.
Coming to colours, it’s a great idea to invest in two/three types of art material.
Ideas for the kid’s craft box
Crayons, pastels, chalk colours, water colour cakes, watercolour tubes, little jars of finger paints, oil paints, felt pens/sketch pens (the mini-sized ones are good for the kids), colour pencils, glass paints, glitter glue in colours, gel-based colours and then paint brushes, cotton balls, q-tips, sponges in various shapes. . . Phew! It’s endless – just pick two or three for a season and experiment with the rest later.
The kids, irrespective of their age or temperament, I find, are fascinated with using art material. They love to use different colours and tidbits to create things. Fill a small box with all these treasures and throw in some tubes of glue, a pair of kid-safe scissors and some paper (colour/ white/ textured – left to your imagination – and you are all set to get some happy hugs and happier memories with the beautiful creations made by the kids.
Note: You can either use a plastic mat or a plastic sheet to spread on the floor when the kids are in their Picasso mode. There’s no joy really, if you end up with a huge mess that’s hard to clean. A couple of old drop cloths and newspapers also come in handy to clean up spills.
P.S. I have a fascination with the sky and the play of sunlight on it. I recall my joy one day on a beautiful summer morning (the Indian summer sky is usually gorgeous blue with white clouds sprinkled all across). My son was watching the sky as we were driving by and he said “Amma, the clouds look like little balls of cotton flying”. That made me smile, a big broad smile. After coming home, we painted a sheet in beautiful blue and stuck some balls of white fluffy cotton for clouds and drew a few birds to give them some company – It’s a beautiful memory that’s stayed with me. Hope you find many more with your little men and women.