Thursday, February 21, 2013

Horse Mandalas, Colored in My Best Sharpies

The girls have been spending lots of time with this coloring book of horse mandalas that they were given by the publisher:

Mandalas made from horses--who knew? They're basically the perfect mandalas for kids. I've occasionally offered mandalas to the girls to color, because they're so great for those little minds and hearts (So contemplative! So complex! So immersive!), but the girls just never could engage themselves in the abstract patterning.

Horses, though? Now THAT is something that my kids can engage in!

Although the girls both played with crayons and colored pencils and Crayola markers, their favorite tool for coloring these mandalas is--big surprise!--my nice set of fine-point Sharpies:

I eye their use of my Sharpies with narrow-eyed suspicion, since their points are delicate and there have been...incidents...but to the girls' credit, they have much better fine motor skills now, and a much better respect for pricey art supplies. Nevertheless, especially now that the girls have also begun to ask for my even pricier Faber-Castell Pitt pens, I'm eyeing the sales and setting aside money in the homeschool/crafts budget to buy duplicates of the art supplies that I'm fondest of, myself, so that I don't have to clench my jaw and share.

 I was really surprised/pleased at the level of creativity that the girls, especially Sydney, poured into these mandalas--they usually don't get so emotionally involved with coloring pages. For instance, Sydney spent a ton of time on this particular mandala, using both fine point Sharpies and Prismacolor colored pencils, adding a huge amount of detail to each form:

Notice how each unicorn in the mandala is very different? Sydney created them intentionally to be unique, and each unicorn has its own name--Ocean, Green Grass, Fire, and Pink Flower--and its own magical powers, and she now sometimes incorporates the idea of them into her imaginary play, embodying one of the unicorns herself or assigning one of her more mundanely-colored toy unicorns to play the roles.

It's almost like she re-invented the four elements of ancient times and is now exploring them through play.

If one of the elements had been represented in hot pink, that is.


Tina said...

Of course it has to be sharpies! Every couple days Emma will ask me to print out some pictures for her to color, and I always print them on card stock or water color paper so that she can use sharpies to color them.

We are on a quest to clean up the craft room, and in the process Emma noticed that we have two sets of the same type of marker. When asked about it, I simple told her that I bought her one so I didn't have to share.

She totally understood as I don't always share so nicely :0)

julie said...

Do you have an inkjet or a laser printer? I used to put all kinds of stuff through my inkjet printer (brown paper bags, fabric ironed to freezer paper, etc.), but so far I've been squeamish about doing anything fancy with my laser printer--it was SO expensive! I need to hear some positive stories first!

Tina said...

Ours is an inkjet. I was SOOO sad when our last one died. Recycled (printed on one side) paper fed so nicely through our old reliable, as well as anything else I tried to print on.

Our new inkjet has serious feed issues, even with new paper. I have to only put one page at a time in the feed tray in order for my print job to come out, and even then sometimes it doesn't work.

Sorry I couldn't help with the laser feedback!

Maybe something to blog about? It would be neat to see what types of things people have successfully sent through there printers :0)