Monday, March 17, 2014

Art for Little Hands

Benjamin is five, and like many boys his age, he is not entirely comfortable holding a pencil.   Forming letters is a cumbersome, painstaking process. He likes to color and draw pictures but only if he can do it his way.  If a workbook requires him to write the number 2 or color the tree green, he sighs.  I didn't plan art program for him in school this year because I thought he would resist, but he feels left out when the older kids get creative with their art books once a week. 

One day on a whim, I pulled out Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book(affiliate link) and asked Ben if he would like to give it a try. 

The book is designed for young elementary age children, and I'm finding that it challenges Ben without frustrating him.  I start by giving him an ink pad and asking him to make 4-5 (or 10) thumbprints on his sheet of paper.  He always wants to wash off the ink immediately so while he is gone, I put away the ink and open the book. 

I  select something for Ben to try-- a pirate or a cat, maybe-- and then he follows the very basic, very simple step-by-step directions for turning his thumbprints into works of  art. 

Sometimes we stop at 1 design, but often, Ben will ask to try another.  Man with glasses was a recent favorite, as was man with a monocle!  Not only is he working on his fine motor skills, but he is also learning to pay attention to detail and follow directions to achieve a final result. 

We were given our copy of the book, but it is available at many libraries or for purchase inexpensively on Amazon.

For a slightly more advanced art book, Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals(affiliate link) is an alternative choice.  I borrowed it last week from the library for Owen, my second grader.  While most how-to-draw-type books are still too advanced for him, he spent an hour with this book covering a page with his doodles. It is currently less than $4 on Amazon!


  1. All of our kids love the great thumbprint drawing book! I need to check out the animal one.

  2. So cute!! ♥
    (I am amused that he needs to wash the ink off immediately. That trait seems to show up a lot in our family.) :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...