How about some draw and color holiday fun for kids? Set out some crayons or paints and plenty of paper. There are coloring books for grownups now to relieve stress and tension, so you may want to join kids at the table or on the floor and color too. Sometimes, tables and floors need some extra paper or plastic so they don’t accidentally get colored too.
Holiday time comes with lots of ideas for things to draw and color, some easier for younger kids and some more challenging for older ones. Lines are easier to draw than circles, which take a great deal of muscle control. Toddlers may want to cover a page with lots of different colored lines and scribbles. Use stiff paper, fold it in half and it becomes a card to send in the mail or give to someone special.
Candles are fairly easy shapes to draw with two straight lines and some bright colors to be the flame. People are basically lines and circles and they can be doing so many different things, like a little holiday shopping. One person is also talking in this picture. Pictures are another way to represent what’s happening in their world.
When children draw or paint, hands aren’t the only things that are busy. So are brains. Not only do kids need to control the small muscles in their hands, wrists, and arms, they also have to coordinate the picture in their mind with what’s happening on the paper. They concentrate on what they are doing, pay attention to some things like how much pressure to put on the brush or crayon and ignore other things, such as the background sounds of traffic.
Children’s art will not always be something. Kids simply like to create, to try different actions. We can invite kids to talk about what they are doing by saying, “Tell me about this.” By drawing them into a conversation, we give them a chance to express themselves in words as well as pictures. Giving kids the opportunity to play with colors and paper is a way for them to communicate their feelings and thoughts during a busy, eventful time. Could this draw and color holiday fun be your child’s play-of-the-day?
The words, “I can’t draw,” are more likely to be said by adults because we are focused on the product. The story is quite different for drawing and kids. For children, it’s the process that’s important because drawing is another way to play.
If we think of crayons, markers, chalk, and paper as another kind of toy, then it’s easier to encourage kids to simply have fun. Once we know the walls and floors are safe, we can let children discover what these toys can do and how they can play with them. Drawing can be empowering, because suddenly kids are able to ‘make a mark’ and affect the world around them.
Drawing supports the development of many brain connections and thinking skills. As children draw, they are representing what they see as well as what they imagine. Creating pictures on paper helps visualizing, or making pictures in the mind.
Some adult artists have added an element of fun to encourage more drawing with two challenges. One is called Drawlloween and the other is Inktober. The intention is to check the word for the day on October’s calendar and to draw whatever it is. You can make a calendar with your child. Ask your child what things might be fun to draw. The suggestions do not have to be for Halloween, they can be anything.
Because we had just been looking at some costumes, Big Sister thought of drawing some ghosts. Little Sister asked if she could paint instead. I wondered if the drawings would be invisible like ghosts, but Big Sister used a pen and Little Sister painted one that is blue and pink.
Drawing is not something that we can or can’t do. Like other abilities and talents, some people are better at drawing than others, but we can all draw to some extent. Some children will be more interested than others, but all children can explore with drawing tools and toys. For a play-of-the-day, what would your child like to use for some drawing fun?
This year is the 60th anniversary of Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson. Reading it can inspire some drawing with crayons fun for kids. Harold even drew some fun for adults in an episode of The Simpsons.
Harold and his purple crayon not only draw pictures, they also have adventures, with the crayon drawing out and creating the story. Imagination turns the wiggly lines into ocean waves and a straight line into a path in the woods. A rectangle with a horizontal and a vertical line in the middle becomes a window. Lots of rectangles with crosses makes a tall building with many windows. Even though all the illustrations are purple, in our mind’s eye we can see the other colors too.
Both images and words contribute to the story and encourage the skill of visualizing. To visualize is to create images in the mind from words and sounds. It is a critical skill for reading and helps kids clue into the meaning of what they hear.
We don’t think of visualizing as something we need to practice, but it can be a challenging skill for many. Not only does it help with reading, but the strategy of visualizing is also used in relaxation therapy. It can help reduce anxiety and stress.
When kids draw, we can encourage them to tell us about their pictures. Some possibilities of things to ask or say are:
Tell me about your picture.
Do I see a circle shape?
Are there any people in your pictures?
If kids have three or 4 pictures, you could put them together into a book. It doesn’t need to tell a story like Harold’s. It can be called (Your Child’s Name) and the Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple Crayons. Or, the book might be markers instead of crayons. Will you keep it for 60 years?
Did you know that drawing is a powerful activity for early learning and brain development? Not all kids enjoy drawing but dinosaurs are pretty appealing. Kids–and adults–do not have to be good at it!! It’s a form of PLAY. When it comes to drawing, it’s very challenging for me. I really appreciate when the drawing … Continue reading Dinovember: Draw a Dinosaur for Preschoolers→