I love art. When I was a child I could sit on the floor and color in my coloring books for hours on end! When Wolfie was born I had fantasies of the two of us drawing together all day long. Alas, I have a confession to make: Wolfie doesn’t like drawing. Yep. It’s true. And he’s not big on coloring. He’ll do it….but it’s not his first choice by annnnny stretch of the imagination. He *does* love painting, but it’s definitely more of a production than just whipping out a box of crayons or colored pencils and a sweet lil coloring book or pad of paper.
So lately I’ve been on a quest to find cool coloring books to help nurture a little more appreciation of drawing. I mean, I don’t want to force Wolfie to do something he doesn’t want to do, but I also really think young children need a bit of guidance and exposure to things and drawing is SUCH a fab activity—it promotes creativity, coordination and above all IMAGINATION!
So I bought one of those big ol Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring and Doodling Books. It’s super cute but I gotta tell ya, the thing weighs a good 5 pounds and it’s hard to get the pages to stay open, because it’s so thick. So I was back to square one. Here are three fun ones that we’ve been totally digging.
This book is super cute. The paper is recycled and has a beige textured quality and the book is the perfect thickness for flipping open and drawing away. The “projects” are simple and fun. One page directs you to simply draw diamond shapes and then the next tells you to turn those same shapes into creatures. Many of the pages are more about creating patterns and using color then actually creating an entire scene and I think that is a really great approach!
2. Ye Olde Doodles By Andrew Pinder
Wolfie is really fascinated with history these days and we recently stumbled upon this super cool book! Each page is filled with historical facts, tales and trivia. The drawing instructions are all related to the historical “story”. Rather than gentle, sweet swirly images, these pages are action-packed scenarios that occasionally verge on the macabre, so be forewarned it’s definitely for older children!
“The Chinese invented gunpowder. They used it for fireworks and in battle. Create your own stunning fireworks display!”
Here’s an example of a crazy page. This one is about the French Revolution. On the one hand, there was a page directing you to decorate Marie Antoinette’s wig. Then the next page? “The guillotine was a deadly machine used to execute people during the French Revolution. Fill the baskets with heads.” Too much?? Probably. But for an 8 year old boy it’s also kind of awesome. In a totally gross way, of course. [This book was published in England….oh you crazy Europeans! haha!]
3. Tag This! A Doodle Book.
Finally, there is this book. Wolfie and I have been talking a lot about grafitti lately. Living in an urban area we see quite a bit of it all over town. Of course we’ve talked about how it’s illegal and lots of pieces are ugly hastily scribbled things…. but we also talk about how some pieces are really amazing and we love seeing beautiful, colorful murals. This book is really fun. The pages are filled with very quirky cool photographs of street scenes, blank walls, bottoms of skateboards etc and you get to tag/draw all over it. It’s a really fun take on the doodle book!
(it helps when you have an uncle who is a fantastic artist! haha….)
So there you have it. Three alternatives to the class coloring book! Do you have a child who isn’t as into coloring? I don’t think I’ve EVER heard anyone admit that their child isn’t a rabid coloring fan or drawing lover….is Wolfie the one lone magical, non-drawing child out there???
Whether your child loves drawing or is a little more reluctant, I think these books are pretty fun! Do you have a favorite thing to do with your child to encourage their drawing? I’d love to hear more!