Today was a rainy day, so I brought out a cardboard playhouse I picked up at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. It has beach designs all over it (probably why it was only $5) and comes with some 'washable' markers. The girls had fun playing with it -- going inside it and coloring on it. Of course, the 2 year-old colored all over her arms. She does it all the time, I can't believe she'll grow up to be anything other than a tatoo artist. Of course, she's also going through a phase of taking off her clothes constantly, so her future professional choices are a bit disturbing at the moment. And I don't know how many times a day I say to her "nice girls don't take off their shirts." Mardi Gras here she comes.
After the 2 year-old was put down to nap, my 4 year-old asked me to color with her on the playhouse. I must say, I found it very calming. I'd like to say I emptied my head, but I did feel very peaceful and into the coloring. Suzanne decided she wanted to work on the same design as I was and it was duplicated on the other side of the house. So we peacefully colored on opposite sides of the house. Interestingly, her work was very derivitive; she kept checking to see what I was doing and what color I was using and copied me.
Coloring books are a topic of debate among unschoolers. The purists eschew them, feeling that they stomp on the child's innate creativity. Others are less concerned. I figure that we have both coloring books and plain drawing paper and the girls are free to choose which they want to use and how. I could care less whether and if they 'stay in the lines.'
We made instant pudding after the coloring. I made Suzanne read the instructions on the box and was pretty impressed when she read them all. I wondered if I heard what I wanted to hear. I asked her again to read 'immediately,' she sort of mush-mouthed it and didn't know the word when questioned. I thought she did a good job of faking it; she got the 'imm' sound right -- she also read it quickly, didn't stop and act as if she didn't know it. Great, another lawyer in the family.