A bevy of crayons

“I am going to work,” said Mister Thumb.
Hold up thumb.
“Now who will go with me?”
Said Mister Pointer, “I will go.
Hold up pointer finger.
You need my help, you see.”
And so they worked together
As happy as could be.
They made a lovely apple
In a big tall apple tree.
They made a little bluebird.
They made a sun for me.
Mister Pointer said, “I like to work.”
Mister Thumb said, “I agree!”
Coloring with crayons is a traditional early childhood activity, and that is well-loved here at our house. Not only is a great creative outlet, but holding crayons helps children cultivate the small motor skills that will later help them have a functional pencil grip.

The typical box of Crayola stick crayons can be fun in their variety for older kids, but are often frustrating for the little ones. They’re thin and break easily, and I’ve noticed my own wee ones seem a little more interested in peeling off the paper than in coloring with them. They seem less substantial, especially after using a block crayon or homemade muffin crayon, and just seem ill-suited for small hands in general.

Art, Nicholas

Draw a house… draw a tree… draw a person..

Asking a child to draw a picture of a house, a tree, and a person is a pretty common assessment technique, and one I’ve been using with my own little ones for years. You can use it with anyone age 3 and up. There’s actually an entire psychological evaluation centered around the exercise, but I don’t quite take it that far, LOL!

The Waldorf community has a different take on the house–tree–person exercise. A 1999 edition of Gateways makes the following connections:

1. The house– a picture of where the child is on earth. From that place the child goes out and comes in again in the process of meeting the world.


Art: Allegory of California

We’ve gotten out of our art groove, but are jumping back into things with grand style, studying Diego Rivera’s Allegory of California.

This gorgeous mural has a lot of history behind it, and was a great jumping off point not only for discussing the art itself, but also the idea of allegory. The kids enjoyed approaching the fresco like art detectives, searching out all the clues to its meaning.

And of course, we had to make a mural of our own!

Even Daniel got in on it!
And there it hangs, in all its splendor above our kitchen table: Allegory of the World!


Art Lesson: Don Manuel Osorio by Goya

This week we looked at Don Manuel Osorio by Francisco Goya. The children enjoyed looking for details in the painting– especially the hungry look in the cats’ eyes as they check out the bird!

The assignment for this one was simple– draw a full figure portrait of yourself. Add details, color in the entire picture, and try to use correct proportions.

Obviously “correct proportions” in something we’ll have to work on.


Art Lesson: People and Dog in Sun by Joan Miro

This was a fun lesson in abstract art. We looked at the painting “People and Dog in Sun” by Joan Miro. Without knowing the title, it was hard to know what the painting was about. Once we knew the title, though, we could find the people, the dog, the sun.

To make our own abstract art, they each drew an object on the paper. We then used rulers to lay out a 3 inch grid. They chose 4 or 5 colors and got busy. The rules were:
1. Change colors every time you come to a line.
2. Try not to have the same color side by side.

Art, Daniel, Nicholas

Wet-on-Wet Watercolor Painting: Brothers!

This week, Daniel turned two and also painted his first wet-on-wet watercolor painting. Nicholas enjoyed sharing table space with him.
First, a poem:
I told the Sun that I was glad,
I’m sure I don’t know why;
Somehow the pleasant way he had
Of shining in the sky
Just put a notion in my head
That wouldn’t it be fun
If walking on the hill, I said
“I’m happy” to the sun.
–John Drinkwater

And then, a story about a bright golden sun shining down and warming the earth.

And then, we painted.

The poem inspired Nicholas to sing a little song:

And then Daniel and I had a chat: