Saturday, March 22, 2008

Coloring Books & Easter Eggs

Where to begin. Coloring books - Are they good for your children? From what I have read in my early childhood development books, everyone advises against coloring books. Coloring books do not seem that bad on the surface, but underneath it all they can effect children negatively. Taken from Art for the Fun of it, by Peggy Davison Jerkeins.
Coloring books provide:
- Loss of creativeness
- No stimulation of the imagination
- Detrimental effect upon children's self-confidence and independent thinking
- Deprives children of individual expression
- No emotional release
- Frustration
- Offers no feeling of achievement or pride 
- Promotes doing without thinking
- Offer no practice in the decision making, other than color

Please offer your child a plain piece of paper and a NON-TOXIC crayon, marker, or pencil instead of coloring books. 

Art should be fun. Let them experience different material. Just a few thoughts:
- Draw with berries 
- Paint with natural objects such as twigs, branches, acorns, indian corn 
- Paint with different textures- cotton balls, yarn, feathers, sponges, tin foil balls
- Make a mud pie painting
- Create rubbings from found nature objects, twigs, rocks, leaves, branches, shells
- Decorate a "secret" shipping box "hideout" or a "fairy" shoe box "house"
- Make playclay. Combine 4 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 3/4 cups warm water. Then, knead for 5 minutes.
- Make soup bubble sculptures
- Make picture from rocks, pebbles, beans, and/or seeds

As a parent, I would say to stay flexible. Observe and hold back from adding to their art or putting restrictions of them. Let the projects unfold as it may and be without an expectation of how the finished project should be. Let them experiment, have fun, get messy, and create their own piece of art. In our house, we have "painting clothes", which makes getting messy worry-free. We, also, have our little one help with the cleaning-up. 

At Easter time we color eggs
Shades of yellow, red and blue
We make them pretty as can be
We'll make some for you and some for me

Easter is tomorrow and this morning we colored our eggs in our jammies. We naturally dyed our Easter eggs with brown eggs, which did not have much of effect. The process was fun and my little one enjoyed herself. Isn't that the important part? To enjoy the moment as it is. Afterwards, we used the dyes to paint napkins. 

For dye we tried:
Greenish Yellow- boiled carrot tops
Red- fresh beets
Red- boiled red zinger tea
Blue- boiled red cabbage
Yellow- boiled yellow onion skins

Have a wonderful Easter!

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