I know I have done something right when I see P creating something after reading a book. In the past too, characters in the books we have read have inspired a lot of art work. Today, yet again P was itching to give form to the story he liked, that he sat down to work soon after he brushed his teeth.
The muse for today’s creation is ‘Heffelump’ (from ‘Winnie the Pooh’). P was gifted this book – Eoyore, be happy, from Winnie the Pooh series – for his birthday.
He doubled up in laughter the first time and every time that I have read it to him. Seeing his reaction, I knew it was just a matter of time that he will want to do an art work around Pooh or Tigger. That it was Heffelump who caught his fancy, came as a surprise. Guess it’s the mystery factor around him.
So, like in the story we have set up a Heffelump trap in our balcony, to ‘trick and catch’ him. And his face and form will be revealed to the world. We covered the trap with gift paper to trick Heffelump to think its a gift for him (P’s words).
So tonight is the night when the the unassuming Heffelump will ‘fall’ for P’s trap and the world will see him!
Fridays are library days at school for P. Last week he came back with ‘Three little pigs’. It has been one of his favourite ever since I read it out to him as a toddler. His rendering of ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house away’ is much loved in our friends and family circle. Despite having 2 books of his own he was most thrilled about the library book.
We read all 3 (own and library) books quite a few times and P kept blowing everything in sight saying, ‘I’ll huff and I’ll …’
On a whim I decided to make our own 3 little pigs, big bad wolf and all so that the story can be dramatised further.
I pulled out craft sticks, tape and googly eyes and we quickly made our 3 little pigs.
For the big bad wolf I got P to paint a toilet roll black as I cut out the ears, tongue and teeth. P happily glued them all in place and we had our very own mean version of big bad wolf
For the straw and stick house, I just did a basic folding of A 4 paper. I used an old piggy bank for the cement house and we were all set.
I read the story and P enacted it by moving the stick pigs around and making the big bad wolf huff and puff. He squealed with delight when the straw and stick houses fell and when the strong cement house didn’t budge.
The pigs and the wolf kept him occupied most of the week leaving us just the weekend to do other art projects
A couple of weeks back a brown paper package arrived for P. It was a gift from my friend Bindu, the current Santa in his life. She had sent him a book on planes – the one that not only explained on the science behind it’s flying but also had step by step instruction on how to make paper planes. P was literally flying in joy. Bindu aunty made his day by catering exclusively to his favourites – planes and books!
We immediately got down to reading and making the planes. The instructions in the book being simple and graphic, it was easy to make most of the planes.P wanted to make it on his own so I drew lines on the sheet where P could fold so it gave him a sense that hw was indeed making them without help – he is on this independence declaring trip! We made a whole lot of planes that day and over the week and flew them around the house.
The first one of course was made and sent to Bindu aunty as a thank you card. P drew a self portrait as a pilot (with helmet) and gave Bindu the privilege of sitting in his cockpit, albeit with her hair standing up with fear!
We are still re, re, re-reading the books we got last weekend and the one that caught P’s fancy the most is the story “Mallipoo, where are you?” (Tulika). I think it’s the name that’s fascinated him the most. So when I wanted to do an art activity around the books, I knew just what it would be.
I have done a fair bit of sand painting in my student days, none of which I’ve had to re-touch surprisingly. I wanted to do some sand painting with P because it’s a great sensory play. Unfortunately with the sand in Mumbai being highly questionable, I decided to substitute it with salt instead. It’s close enough texture wise and a great alternative painting wise.
We started off by me drawing out Mallipoo the pig sleeping in her mud pit. I then spread fevicol over the drawing and got P to fill it with salt. Once the whole drawing was covered, I tapped off the extra salt. We repeated this process till we got a fairly thick layer of salt.
I then laid out water colours for P and this was the fun part. As opposed to a regular painting, in this one, one needs to just touch the salt with the brush and the paint spreads instantly due to absorption. P was thrilled seeing this and kept dropping blobs of paint, which ended up giving a great shading effect.
Once all of the salt absorbed the paint, I finished off outlining the drawing with sketch pen and giving little details. The end result was awesome and now Mallipoo has a highest place on the hall of fame (the door to P’s room)
These are a few of our favourite things. Last weekend we got two brown paper packages and my!my! weren’t we thrilled! The books I ordered and what the fond grandparents sent arrived one after another and the piles left us hardly any time for art.
The first to arrive was the set I had ordered from Tulika publication. I am a huge fan of their stories for children primarily because they are so Indian and rustic. The stories are simple, identifiable and just right for preschoolers. The illustrations are well defined, colourful and really arty. P and I go over every detail of art work and marvel over it.
I get P to identify colours, shapes, form and little designs besides alphabets ans sight words. Of late, he has been asking about colour combinations too, which is a big leap.
But what I like most about them is the Tamilian names for characters – Mallipoo the pig, Shanmugham the lion, Ranganna the elephant, Gajapati kulapati and many more. It brings out the latent ‘Chennaite’ and the true Tamizh ponnu in me!
The next set of books was the Lady bird series. These too are delightfully simple stories with repetition – just what preschoolers need. They love repetition. P insists on repeat rendering with the same modulation and sound effects.
We read and re re re-read all of them and the weekend was spent in the world of sleepy Bahadur, soft Mallipoo, hard working red hen and clever Billy Goat.
P loved the names so much that he started calling us Mallipoo, Shanmugham and himself sleepy Bahadur!
P and I like to read, so we spend a lot of time reading and re-reading books. Given his age and love for repetition, sometimes the same books are re-read twice daily for 1 week straight. He has his favourite characters who eventually begin spilling on to our little art projects.
The favourit’est’ is Appu and Gajapathi (elephants from Appu and his friends and Gajapathy Kulapathy), Franklin turtle from the Franklin series, Shanmugham the lion from Snoring Shanmugham, Nemo and of course Noddy.
Given his love to cut and stick stuff, we did this little art work based on few of his favourite characters. I drew them out for him and made him cut coloured paper into small bits. He then spread the glue and started sticking away.
Added benefit – Its great for fine motor skill enhancement and also improves concentration level.