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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kids Art: Simple Greeting Cards

Helping me decorate the stocking fish, while fairly entertaining, did not satisfy Ana's need to express her current creative streak.

So, I suggested that she make some greeting cards to send to grand-aunts/uncles we visited during this trip.

She found herself in quite a bit of inspired mood one morning to churn out color pencil designs on her own. Good old Camlin colour pencils seemed to work really well for Ana. I am saving the Faber-Castell for later.

It took me by surprise how close she got to what she was attempting to portray - especially the peacock and the paisley mango pattern she saw on the pillowcase - the bottom two cards in the collage below. Okay, I admit, I am biased... but, mommies are allowed to gush, right?!

kids pencil colored designs thumbprint caterpillar greeting cards kids art

While she was at it, I suggested that she can make her favorite Thumbprint Caterpillar as well. Now, since this involves using various acrylics and poster colors from my mom's stash, I sat nearby to open/close the bottles and make sure there were no accidental spills.

Being the prissy little thing she is, she insisted on having half a mug of water and a towel handy so she can wash out her thumb between colors :)

And, not wanting to waste paints, I had her make a few simultaneously. As I couldn't help myself, I added the "face" for the caterpillars.

thumbprint caterpillar greeting cards kids art

And, just for fun, I got her to write   U inside the greeting cards, and sign her name. I hope this brings a big smile to the grand-aunts/uncles who will receive it (assuming I manage to post it before I leave).

thumbprint caterpillar greeting cards kids art

Now, even though this has been a long veg-out vacation, we did manage to read books, practice writing letters and numbers on and off, and work with some flash cards. It is probably just the natural developmental stage, but, compared to 2 months ago, Ana seems to be able to hold the pen/pencil better and control her hand movement to create the suggested patterns now.

Usually, developmentally, reading comes before writing as far as I have read, but, I didn't want to push one over the other, so I let her guide me based on her interest. Since most of reading/writing is initially pattern-recognition we've been practicing typing on my dad's machine. I open up Notepad™ set the basic Arial font to 48 point or something large and let her type away... usually, she manages to type the following all by herself:

in that order, one word per line, making sure ana is the first one always :)

I am sure Ana (and Og in his own way) will have pogo*-withdrawal symptoms when we get back, but, hopefully they'll have enough activities to keep them busy and happy that they'll soon break out of this TV-habit they easily developed here in India :)

*pogo=children's program TV channel

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At 11:04 PM, Blogger Poppins said...

Wow, as always I'm very impressed with the art work. I seriously think the drawings she's made are great, and i'm not her mother ;)

We do the same thing - actually the husband does (the notepad set to font 48) :)

We're also at loose ends here because of swine flu holidays so it's crazy. Right now Poppin is on a spree reading all the short stories on that site. It's pretty good, try it if you haven't already !

Reading does come before writing, Poppin started to read 6 months ago, but started to write just recently. All that artwork (colouring) etc are going to help big time to write.

At 1:44 AM, Blogger ranjani.sathish said...

lovely art work..I loved the caterpillars work..should try with shraddha sometime !

Don't worry they so easily snap out of "pogo" or "chutti tv" (as in my case) syndrome, once they are back home :-)

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous sole said...

Very impressed as always!
Question for you : How do you manage to get kids create art as opposed to be destructive through the process. Mine (boy 32 months) starts getting distracted within seconds of sitting down or wants to do it all on his own (meaning destruction). Do you think girls are better? May be you'll know when Og grows up!

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Swati said...

I loved the idea ..will follow soon !

awesome stuff!

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Poppy, I meant to ask you and Tharini - maybe I am an impatient monkey, but, what does "my child started to read" mean usually? Ana puts together the phonetic sounds and sounds out the words... I didn't think that was "reading" per se - reading with comprehension, with confidence, and being able to paraphrase the passage she has just read seems to be my expectation of a "reader", maybe I have to adjust my definition...

Ranjani, you are so right - am back now, reading over the comments and looks like neither Ana nor Og seem to want the TV on at home, no withdrawal symptoms even if it is cold-turkey

Sole, you are right, I'll find out as Og gets older - right now, I think Ana is a good role model and he apes her every move, follows her around everywhere, so, when she sits down for coloring he has to sit down and do his chicken scratches too!

Swati, Thanks :) Alternately, single thumbprint bugs are also a favorite with Ana - simply make a thumbprint and draw 6 or 8 legs, maybe antennae, maybe wings or something... turn a thumbprint into millipede or centipede...


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