I don’t think any of my kids could live without their set of colored pencils, they enjoy them more than crayons and use them frequently for all kinds of projects. InThe Pencil Book they not only uses pencils to make art, but even uses pencils as the art, like with the pencil mosaic heart or pencil pot that can hold our art supplies. They even suggest spilling out the pencils and having a quick game of pick up sticks! I liked the simple steps they suggest to teach children how to draw mandalas. A couple of my kids’ favorite ideas were drawing a basic map of our neighborhood (and marking all of their friends’ houses) and the self-portraits.
We regularly pull out the paint and let the kids go to town. We do use washable paints and have an area designated in the garage for least possible harm to the house and if the kids are in a slump, this is one of their favorite ways to be artistic and create. The Paint Book has so many great ideas, including spud stamping with cut-out potatoes or splatter painting with an old toothbrush. Every idea is accompanied with a large photo or two, which clearly shows the technique. We are having fun trying out some new ideas and adding to our standard paintbrush and paper. Some great ideas are using a doily as a stencil (so pretty!) or letting the rain “paint” the picture for you!
Even if you live in a crowded city, you can still find lots of amazing outdoor things to do. The Wild City Book has lots of fun ideas which allow for interesting and engaging activities for kids to do as they explore their environment. It is an enjoyable book to look through, with many photos and is also a small format book that is easy to hold and flip through. Several of the suggestions require the children to gather small natural objects and then transform them into creations like miniature villages, mud pies, natural fireworks and more.
I like how that helps my kids keep their eyes open and notice nature around them in any form and then create something of their own with it. There are also ideas for playing with ice or snow, as well as using concrete or streets as a playground when you add chalk, twigs or other objects, like with “sticky” hopscotch. One of our family’s favorites is the recycled bird feeders, which we set up in hopes of bringing a little more wild life into our city life.