One of the things we got Tabby for Christmas was a nicer set of watercolors … not extravagantly nice, but a good student-grade set. I’d read an article at some point in time about getting kids GOOD art supplies with the reasoning that it is more fun with them if the outcome is better and predictable. One specific example they cited was water colors and it hit home with me because I remember smashing my brush into those solid water colors you get in art class, trying and trying to get vivid colors and barely coming up with anything darker than dishwater. Grrrrr …
Since she got them we’ve used them a few times. They are definitely fun to play with and produce everything from nice vivid colors to beautifully pale colors depending on how much water you add. Anyhow, as is our tradition, following birthdays, we write thank you notes to those who sent gifts. We generally skate by on the notes for those who were present, though with some people, like my Grandma, Tabby wanted to write a note anyhow, so we did. Gratitude should never be discouraged, right?
The standard format is to cut 8.5×11″ cardstock in half and then fold the halves to make quarter-page sized notes. We have a box of envelopes that will probably last until the kids are in their teens that neatly hold this size card. Then we decorate. We’ve done everything from Tabby coloring printed images of Tinkerbell and Minnie mouse to thumbprint cards to stickers. And this year, I proposed we do water colors. I sent Tabby away and then I wrote THANK YOU! on a card with a white crayon and then brought her back in told her to water color the heck out of it. She did so and was delighted to see my written message appear. After that she directed what we write on the cards and requested “fancy writing” on the next one.
At some point in time, Ben came in and wanted to get in on the action, so I drew him a ton of sqiggles on a half page and he went at it in his 2-year-old way, mixing colors with abandon and cross-contaminating our paints. The result (below) was rather beautiful, but I had to get him out of there (Maaaaaatt!) so we could finish. He was about done anyhow.
I loved doing this project with the kids and one of the things that I loved best about it was that just before we started, they’d been watching TV (something we don’t often allow in the evenings). Tabby instantly abandoned the TV when she heard we were going to create and Ben followed shortly after. Tabby cannot wait to watercolor again. She wants to play with some other techniques I mentioned like putting salt on the damp watercolors and blotting them with textured things. I look forward to it too.