Why We Shunned Coloring Books

My earliest memory of coloring books had something to do with flipping through used coloring sheets.  Some pages were nicely colored, some were colored without “staying within the lines.” Early on, you just knew instinctively that something was very wrong with these “lampas-lampas” (outside of the boundaries) pages. Actually, when I try to remember, some colored pages seemed to have started well and for some reason, frustration got in the way.

I wasn’t much of a “colorer.” Maybe one reason is that by the time, hand me down coloring books in our family reached me (yes, last of 9kids), only the corny pages were left to color. Also, honestly, the act of rubbing crayons area by area may have bored me. So bored that my sister and I had to “tweak” our experience.

I vividly remember a coloring book of female faces. We then found a way to put in some creativity by applying “make up” through shading and blending. We experimented on eye shadow and cheek blush blending, and lip lining!

Fast forward to 2000, in a class about creativity, our teacher shared about the story of how a young preschooler gave up her passion of drawing horses after a well meaning grandmother gifted her with a coloring book of horses. As they pried further, the child gave up “drawing horses” after seeing how horses should look like.” Why draw when you can easily color? Just stay within the lines.”

We all know that preschoolers cannot easily stay within the lines so why even set them up for that kind of frustrating activity?   Surely, there are many other ways to practice fine motor skills that could also enhance creativity. I then realized then that there was an entire movement against the use of coloring books.

So early on, I limited coloring activities and never purchased a coloring book. Coloring pages would only come through the ‘Activity Books” that had mazes, word searches, puzzles,etc.

I eventually began homeschooling our children and needed some background on Art.  And was I so thankful that the first “serious” material that guided our view and take on Art was Susan Striker’s Young at Art.  For more information, check the author’s website.  Have a taste of this book by checking out one of her entries in her blog about encouraging creativity in young children. 


I am not really here to wage war against coloring books. (Certainly, not after our book stores shelves have gotten people crazy over the “adult coloring books” ). Well, adults have that skill of staying within the lines and have opted to color instead of drawing from scratch. They have a choice.

But for little children exploring, little hands venturing into various skills, little minds so fertile for the creativity seeds, wouldn’t we want to give them something more? A large blank paper (A4, or even A3!!) with chubby pens and pencils, lots of washable finger or poster paint, fat crayons would be  far better choices indeed!

There is just so much to discover about how our children see the world, process what’s going on around them and express their thoughts in their creations. No, not in how they color within the lines but how they will use raw materials around them to express themselves.

So yes, we had very little “coloring within the lines” activities in our classroom. But in return, we witnessed a whole of creativity and relentless pursuit to express and create. Here are just a few works early on our homeschool journey.  Newer works are uploaded on HomesCoolph FB page and Homescoolph IG! You may also check out Raya’s Room category in this blog.



A DIY Store from a massage table box


Yarn Pompoms
Pastel crayons and black paint!
Play dough art! Doughnuts, anyone?
Stories and drawing!


Pottery with the help of Cornerstone Pottery Farm.
2011 Watercolor on pastel sunflower by Raya
“Of course, you can make a pink spaceship, Raya! Sky is the limit!”
2010 Mosaic Giraffe by Vince
2010 Mosaic Art by Marco
2010 Mosaic Art by Marco
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Our “Wall of Fame” – our priceless collection of homeschooling, bonding and creativity!

Creativity eventually spilled over other subjects and subject matters!

2013 Our Science Poster
Marco’s Lego Band!
Cool drummer, right?
Look at Marco's Lego guitarist
Look at Marco’s Lego guitarist
photo 2
2014 Marco’s Comic on Journey of St Paul in Filipino
photo 1
Details, details!
Processed with MOLDIV
2013 Marco’s Avenger Comics
Processed with MOLDIV
2016 Raya’s series on female superheroes using Copic Sketch Pens


Happy Creating!

Isaiah 64:8  “But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”














Portraits from Raya’s Room

It’s Mommy Donna in Raya’s Room now. Many weeks back, I had asked Raya if I could post something in her corner of this blog. I think blogging isn’t her thing yet so she gave me go signal to post first for now.   Raya has been into portraits for the past many weeks. I am so amazed at her creativity, her attention to detail, her painting and drawing skills, and yes her patience in making these beautiful creations.  Most of these portraits are drawn from imagination. There are no specific persons (save for one) in mind and she doesn’t copy from any photo.  Many who have seen these ahead say that her works are beginning to show her personal and unique style!  So here are the latest portraits from Raya’s room, enjoy:)


FullSizeRender-6IMG_0893 FullSizeRender-4 FullSizeRender-3 IMG_9965 FullSizeRender-1 IMG_1160

Raya has been into portraits lately:) I don’t know why this is not upright.. hang in there!  We will try to figure it out. It appears upright on my editing page!


Which one is your favorite?  Please comment below. Am sure Raya would love to hear from you!

Creativity and Children: Two Peas in a Pod! ( Creativity Series for Homeschoolers!) Part 1

One of the major areas I wanted to learn about as I began homeschooling 13 years ago was how to instill, develop and boost children’s creativity. I guess, it began with having babies and thinking of activities for them. For some reason, push button or battery operated toys that limited the child to just pressing ( more like banging in the younger years!) bothered me. During my earlier years of having my 1st infant/ toddler, it was very obvious how bored they got with such toys that were sort of repetitive and close ended.

As my child’s first teacher, I wanted also to create a nurturing environment at home that would be like a safe haven to explore, to test ideas, and yes to create! Since the teacher is part of that “environment” I wanted to learn how to be encourage my child’s self expression and creativity.

My first son was only 8 months when we were assigned in London as part of my husband, Gilbert’s expatriation for work.  Part of the package was an opportunity for spouses to continue some form of growth and education.  I enrolled  in a Early Years: Childhood Care and Education certificate course in the Richmond Community College.  Wow, looking back, I am so thankful for having done that course.  I did that without really knowing then that I would have 3 more children coming and that I would eventually homeschool.

Sessions in that course were devoted on Creativity and my professor told us this story.    Let me try to re-tell it.  There once a preschooler who was passionate about horses.  She loved them and she daily drew horses. She drew them and she was happy about all her drawings.   For some reason, a time came when she dropped the whole “horses” phase and never again attempted to draw them.   Our professor then asked, “What do you think happened? ”   She then continued with the explanation.   A well meaning, loving grandmother who learned about her enthusiasm for drawing horses, gifted her little granddaugther with a coloring book of horses and only horses.  A seemingly harmless gesture cut the lifeline to this bursting creativity in that child.  Without meaning to do harm, the coloring book “communicated” to the child how horses are supposed to look like .   The child realized that what she has been drawing all this time was far from the accepted and appreciated  “form” of horses.

The instruction was to “color within the lines”  and we all know that ” going out of the lines” was not really something celebrated.  What an eye-opener indeed? Why then offer coloring books ? Why expect toddlers or preschoolers with immature fine motor skills to color only within the lines.  If you want to know more about the detrimental effects of coloring books to developing young children, click here.

So from then on, I vowed to never purchase a coloring book. Through the years however, you eventually get some as gifts or some pages of activity books have them.  Instead, I just bought ream after ream of A3 and A4 paper (our kids didn’t like drawing on recycled papers with some printing at the back) and just restocked our washable tempera/poster paints, chubby crayons, markers!    Eventually, we introduced other forms of coloring material such as oil pastels, colored pencils,  water color, acrylic/oil paint. We then went into paper mache, sculpting clay and practically any material we could turn into Art!  I’ve noticed though that young children like using coloring materials that are easy to manipulate and create “bold colors”.   We struggled with some ‘low quality” finger paints because no matter how much blotches we put, the red was pink, and the green was light green!

Living maybe 30 minutes away from IKEA and yes, learning how to drive on the right hand side in 2001, IKEA  was my happy place!   So, I was so thrilled to see their easels, washable tables and aprons and paint containers!  Early Learning Center, a 10 minute walk from our home, sold 500ml washable paints in rainbow color for only £1 per bottle!

This IKEA easel comes with an rod for a continuous roll of paper (sold separately) and a base where paint materials can be placed, It has two sides a white board (though quality in my 2000 model was not so good for easy erasing of white board marker pens) and a black board or cork board on the other side. Photo Credit: http://raisingmunchies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/2014-08-16-11.53.35.jpg
Though not seen in its entirety, this is our IKEA easel ( the cork board side) 🙂
The other side of the easel was a white board marker
The IKEA MAMMUT Childrens Table with easy to remove legs. This was a clear winner. Used by all 4 children for a period of about 10 years or so!
IKEA Mammut Children’s Stool – Can you believe we still have 3 of these after 16 years!
Ikea Mammut Table for Baking! Good with all the mess and stains!
Ikea Mammut Table for Baking! Good with all the mess and stains!
IKEA Mammut Table for water play
IKEA Mammut Table for water play
Early Learning Center (UK) Washable Tempera Paint! Oh my , still for £1 ( about Php 66.00 per bottle) after 16 years!
Early Learning Center (UK) Washable Tempera Paint! Oh my , still for £1 ( about Php 66.00 per bottle) after 16 years!
Other materials you may have in your homeschool room
Other materials you may have in your homeschool room
Raya, at two years old, was using her washable high chair, washable apron and was happily stamping away!
Raya, at two years old, was using her washable high chair, washable apron and was happily stamping away!

So timely! As I write this post, my now 12 year old daughter who was just stamping away in the photo above 10 years ago has shown me her latest creation using some special pens.(  Visit her “room” or the category corner “Raya’s Room”  in this blog for more of her creations!) Here it is:

Raya has been into portraits lately:)
Raya has been into portraits lately:) See Instagram @donnasimpao for  or  @artbysiopao  for more of her work ! (I’m not sure why this is not upright.. hang in there! We will try to figure it out. It appears upright on my editing page!)
Creativityatwork.com  defines creativity as ,”Creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative but not creative.”

Having learned a whole about how adults can stifle children’s creativity, I really became bent on understanding this field and wanted to be a CREATIVITY Crusader in our homeschooling room:) So I had to learn and yes re-learn.   Two materials that became like handbooks as began homeschooling were these:

Author, Michele Cassou
Author, Michele Cassou
Author,  Susan Striker
Author, Susan Striker;  Photo Credit: http://www.carlemuseum.org/studioblog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Young-at-art_blog.jpg

Regarding the Creativity Process, Michelle Cassou had this to say, “came to realize how the intelligence of creativity works and how everything in it has to come from the child. Creativity needed to be offered as play, adventure, and self expression. Putting pressures or expectations on children had to be banned; at the same time, the basic principles of creativity cold never be compromised. Consequently, the creative process couldn’t be taught as a technique because it is a living process. I needed to use my intuition and my heart, not my ideas of what was right. I had to become supple, available and strong in the understanding of my own creativity. within a few years, I developed a method based on process, not techniques……… This approach resulted in children entering a true process, finding self-expression and developing a solid base for creativity in their lives, an experience they couldn’t forget. ” (Excerpt from her book entitled, Kid’s Play, Igniting a Child’s Creativity) 

The teaching encouraged by Miss Cassou is the kind that uses a “gentle process that follows children’s journeys into themselves. When children reach their inner being and express themselves, their hearts open.”

Homeschooling offers such a safe haven where children’s hearts open.  That’s because they learn at home with their most trusted person in the world, their parents. We already have the most basic and important ingredients of CREATIVITY: Acceptance, Appreciation, Safety, Love and Trust.  How can Creativity not flow and bloom? But parents are not natural creativity crusaders, so let me, in the succeeding posts, impart some ways  to raise creative children in the homeschooling setting.  Keep in touch, ok?

Watch out for the next blog post about Creativity !

Psalm 139: 13-17

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!

For Goodness’ Sake, Take Time to Study Shakespeare Part 2


To prepare us for our Shakespeare unit, we began with learning as much as we could about his life in general.  In addition to that, it really helps to have some sort of idea on the major lessons in ones homeschool calendar so you can somehow adjust the activities before, during and after the unit so you can prepare and supplement we with the other lessons that happen in ” class”.  I knew months ahead that we were doing Shakespeare early this year so already had the following:

Purchased this from Fully  Booked. I must say, it is such an interactive, delightful book.
Purchased this from Fully Booked. I must say, it is such an interactive, delightful book.
My son read his life story last quarter for his Reading.



Just to add a bit of fun, we added a bit of Elizabethan (ruff) fashion to our favorite Hippo's get up,
Just to add a bit of fun, we added a bit of Elizabethan (ruff) fashion to our favorite Hippo’s get up! A dear friend also lent us some valuable resources!

It was also  so timely that theater group, Rude Mechanicals Theater Company ,through good friend and our children’s piano teacher, Ms.Joonee Garcia invited us to the  preview  of their presentation of  “Twelfth Night”. Thank you, Joonee!! If you’re interested to gather a sizable group to watch Shakespeare, contact this theater company, leave a comment on their webpage.

We were able to view several scenes. Though the English script was challenging to follow, we got it!We got confused, there were a bit of disguises, there was love  and a whole of things going on,  and yes this theater did in 1980s fashion, yes complete with 80s music! So when we went back to our books and research, we learned about the plot of this play.

Prior to beginning the unit, I saw these two for Php 75.00 in Book Sale SM Southmall.

Don’t expect much for 75.00 pesos. I could imagine how difficult it is to make a Shakespeare play into a reader for children. Together with King Lear, there were areas for grade improvement in grammar and writing! But they served their purpose, the children read each of the stories and got the plot and the elements of Shakespeare’s literary work.



Usually, the teacher reads the assigned chapters or pages in the readers in advance. A list of new words are identified and students can be asked to find the definition and use these words in sentences.  Spelling tests can be done. Open ended reading comprehension questions can be laid out.   Answers can be oral or written. When certain parts of the story relate to real life or current events, you may decide to pause and discuss.

I mentioned several links in the previous blogpost on Shakespeare to extend your Language Lessons. Our lessons and activities on puns, homophones and homonyms were really fun!

For Language, we focused on this compilation of famous lines and phrases from Shakespeare.  Isn’t he brilliant?   The kids chose lines and analyzed each them.





We further extended this to Filipino wherein we studied common Filipino idioms or phrases.  Knowing ahead that we will be doing Shakespeare, I made some early preparation by tweaking our Language and Filipino to focus on descriptive words or adjectives, poetry, narrating a story, elements of a story,  We had daily poetry reading for good exposure and eventually the students created their own poems.  There are countless resources online that equip teachers on how to teach poetry.  Just google it, “How to teach poetry to elementary/ middle school/ high school?” students.   Check this one out.

Soon, everyone was in this Shakespeare mood, even in fashion! Our favorite Hippo earned a “ruff” throughout our lessons. This came from those round cake placemats!

Just to add a bit of fun, we added a bit of Elizabethan (ruff) fashion to our favorite Hippo's get up,
Just to add a bit of fun, we added a bit of Elizabethan (ruff) fashion to our favorite Hippo’s get up,

Speaking of fashion, Raya wanted to research and create a “booklet” on Elizabethan fashion. So she researched and got her paints and pens and produced this!


This was the title page of Raya's booklet that opened up like a spreadsheet.
This was the title page of Raya’s booklet that opened up like a spreadsheet.

IMG_0900 2

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She even got me to try and for one session became the teacher to her Mama student.  I wanted to learn how to create a Elizabethan gown.   My lack of  knowledge and drawing skills compared to my teacher daughter showed in my art work! But I so loved the experience and even hearing my now daughter saying, “You’re good Mama, You can do it.  Draw more!”  was priceless. What an encouraging teacher she was!( and she really did remind me days after that and until today to drop everything and create). Sharing with you my own version of Elizabethan gown:


We also learned a whole lot about  the entertainment and culture during the lifetime of Shakespeare. The events surrounding  the building and rebuilding of  The Globe Theater was very interesting. The bustling activities and drama (oh see, a pun, right there!)  and every day events that revolved around this theater was simply too good not to further learn about.



Check this short documentary about the Globe Theater.  If you’d like to see inside the reconstructed Globe Theater Today in present day England.

Raya,my level 6 student was learning about Circles in Math.  Do you somehow know where this is all going to lead to…. well,  how else can we best teach parts of a circle, apply the importance of learning about area and circumference of a circle?   Why not…………..   ok, this has been long!  Let me make this a suspenseful series in Shakespeare fashion!    Part 3 of this series will eventually take you to a step by step process on how we put the Study of Math ( Circles) and Shakespeare together! Time to gather all your recyclable and coloring material. Time to stretch those finger muscles and yes, let your creatively run wild!  We shall be building soon!


Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

On Clouds and Looking Up

I came home from dropping my son at his classmate’s house for carpool. My heart had been heavy and burdened with many circumstances beyond my control and then I looked up for a while and witnessed this:


I took a shot right away and reflected on how we can be so “spent” by always looking down or across.  There are so many things we can complain about when we get used to always just looking at eye level or looking down. I saw that morning’s view as God speaking to me to look up, to look to Him, the Author and Perfecter of my faith as in Hebrews 9:22 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” 

And so that scene of layers of clouds stuck in my mind and I asked my artist daughter, Raya (see her works in “Raya’s Room Category” in this blog)  to teach me how to create simple clouds using watercolor, water, watercolor paper and some tissue.

Here are the steps:

  1. Use water color paper. We used a small watercolor pad from Fully Booked. It was about the size of 1/4 of a long bond paper.
  2. Using a palette, put a tinge of blue watercolor paint and water it down to create a very light blue.
  3. Using a medium side brushed, dab the watered down blue and start brush in streaks like so:
Spread your brush dapped in watercolor/water across creating various shades of blue.

4. Before the paint dries off, get a tissue and start blotting off some of the wet paint and create “cloud like” patches.



5. You can add other colors or details.

Isn’t it pretty?

As we were about to end our homeschool day, we read poems from our Language textbook.  Lo  and behold, our assigned poem was about “Clouds”.  Isn’t such homeschool days simply amazing?  If we hadn’t done our Science already for that day, this lesson may have been extended to study about types of clouds, cloud formation, and weather in general. So we read the poem and thought of various ways to describe “clouds” — adjectives, similes and metaphors,  and to describe movement of clouds, using adverbs and action verbs!

Source: https://figmentsandimagination.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/clouds/

This Art/Language activity is so simple. Preschoolers will enjoy it for sure.  I remember many  lessons, when the children were younger,  we had a unit on clouds and we used a  book entitled, The Cloud ( a book I got from book sale),


For older kids, you may use Science reference books or online sites.

Hopefully, this lesson lands on you on a day with bright blue skies dotted with lovely patches of clouds. Don’t forget to go out and look up. If it is cool and windy, lay a mat, and lie down with your kids. I love looking at clouds and imagining what figures seem to be coming out of the clouds.

Here are some of the amazing ones I’ve found online:


From an article on cloud formations from www.dailymail.co. uk :article-2291921-188FF3B5000005DC-636_634x457 article-2291921-188FF3D4000005DC-632_634x449

All three photos are sourced from (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2291921/Puff-The-Magic-Dragon-Cloud-formation-bears-striking-resemblance-mythical-creature.html):

I cannot verify  the veracity of this photo but this caught my eye on Facebook:


The “cloudy” day lifted my tired heart and weary eyes indeed. May this activity also lift you up. After all,   it is always a blessing to LOOK UP:)


Job 37 :15-16 “Do you know how God establishes them, And makes the lightning of His cloud to shine? “Do you know about the layers of the thick clouds, The wonders of one perfect in knowledge.”

Exodus 13:21-22 “The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.?”



Art Series: Secondary Colors

This is another lesson in the Art series that we started in this blog. We are currently focusing on the basic elements of Art and have covered Lines,  More Lines, Shapes, Shapes Part 2Colors and Primary Colors. 

I love mixing primary colors. Whether you use  colored water (water with a few drops of food coloring), acrylic/poster  or water color paint, you are bound to create those secondary colors.

You can also use chalk, chalk pastel, crayons or colored pencils.

Primary Colors :  Red, Blue, Yellow

Secondary Colors:

  • Red + Blue =  Purple ( More commonly used that Violet nowadays)
  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Green + Blue =Green

I find using good quality tempera, poster or acrylic paint with bolder colors more fun and exciton, especially for younger children.  It can be frustrating to use low quality paints or very washed out water color in teaching how to make these secondary colors.

However, in the absence of these,   mixing colored water or  rubbing chalk/oil pastels can achieve the color transformation  in a fairly, observable way.

Here is a sample activity from one of our favorite Art resources for the primary years, Evan-Moor’s  manual on How To Teach Art to Children. This resource is also available in electronic version(e-book).

Page from Evan Moor's How To Teach Art
Page from Evan Moor’s How To Teach Art

The simplest way to show this transformation  is through the following steps:

Using this template and poster paint , fill the three circles with the 3 primary colors. Older kids can use chalk /oil pastel, water colored pencils or crayons as they can rub more evenly and patiently to achieve the secondary colors.



Or you may use this too :



Then, using a mixing palette,  mix red with blue, red with yellow and blue with yellow to achieve the secondary colors purple/violet, orange and green.  Guide the children in adding more of the primary colors to achieve the desired secondary color.  Fill in the right areas in the color wheel.


Here are other COLOR Experiments done by kids (ages 5-6 years old)  using the reproducibles from Evan Moor’s How to Teach  Art to Children :

2ndaryColors2 2ndaryColors4

I always like connecting various lessons from different subjects, So for this lesson, depending on the ages of your student, you may opt to stretch this lesson to include:

Bible lessons on the Creation Story,  Noah and the rainbow after the Great Flood, Joseph the Dreamer and his colorful coat. Try to google templates for Joseph’s Dreamcoat or Noah’s rainbow.

For Science,  some ideas could be the Color Spectrum, or even how to make your own Natural Dyes.

We did this many quarters ago.

It wasn't that easy to make dyes from fruits/ vegetables. It will take some trial and error.  That's Science!
It wasn’t that easy to make dyes from fruits/ vegetables. It will take some trial and error. That’s Science!

For Language, you can do a lesson on Similes and teach your children how to create similes using the different colors: “yellow as lemon. black as charcoal, green as grass, red like fire. blue like the sky“. Make poems about the colors.

Social Studies:  You may decide to study about flags. Begin with your country’s flag. Discuss the symbolism with the figures and colors used.  Choose other countries for discussion.  You can even challenge the kids to design and create a flag of a make-believe country,

History:  History of Dye Making

Filipino: Color terms of Filipino (Tagalog)  and how they are properly used

Red- Pula (as a adjective) or mapula, or  pupula/ pumula ( as verbs)

Reading;  Younger Children will enjoy the following;

  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Little Blue and  Little Yellow
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon,
  • Seven Blind Mice
  • Freight Train
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • A Color of His Own

Isn’t the lesson on COLORS simply endless and exciting?? Go ahead and have a colorful homeschooling lesson soon!

The Art Series: Red, Yellow and Blue!

After doing several activities on  Lines, More Lines and Shapes and  jumpstarting the Color series with the throwing, shaking and splattering  with our Marble Art and Splattering Mural, we can now take our time with the basics of Color.

Remember what we did  ?



You can frame your art works!


Begin with the primary colors: RED, YELLOW and BLUE.    They are primary because you cannot create them by mixing other colors. However,  they can be mixed to produce other colors that completes the colors of the rainbow.  The primary colors form the foundation of the color wheel.

With your student/s,  gather many items in the house with these solid primary colors . Try to include items that are solely RED, YELLOW or BLUE.

Brainstorm on  ideas and feeling associated with each color.



You may get answers such as:

  • RED –  hot, war, angry, love, passion
  • BLUE – water, cool, sad, calm,
  • YELLOW – cheerful, sunny, freedom, warmth

You may even just check out famous posters or slogans and see what primary colors they use.

Group all the same colored items together and try to get some observations about each color.  For younger preschoolers, remind them that when it comes to physical manifestation of color, we use our sense of sight.  However, challenge them to imagine what would RED if it can be heard, sound like?  Or feel, if it can be touched. You’ll be amazed at the answers and this will also help children express themselves better as you encourage them to speak clearly in complete sentences.  You can turn this into a writing activity for those who can be challenged their thoughts.

Students may say that there are different shades of RED. Some are darker or lighter. Move to a well lit place with your items, and then squeeze into a dark closet (yes, have fun doing that) or under the table.  Maybe close all the curtains and try to ask your student to describe how the color changes depending on the amount of light that surrounds it. You can also place the items of different colors close to each other and see the effects on each others’ colors.

For older children, try to cover the following concepts as you deal with primary colors:

  • Hue
  • Value
  • Tint
  • Shade
  • Intensity

Find activities that focus on one color. One example is to have a child pick red, blue or yellow.  Then cut out magazine pictures or images of the color chosen and create a collage.   Or you may have Art activities that involve all three primary colors. Don’t rush or get too excited with secondary colors . Stick with these Big 3.   If you feel up to it, this can be done together  a Unit Study on the Philippine Flag!

This  Art activity was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue



Strings dipped in black paint were pressed over the paper to create some form of grid and the shapes were colored only primary colors


HOw to Teach Art106
For the preschooler, this was using sponges in various shapes/ sizes. It is some form of “stamping” or sponge art

For a richer experience with primary colors, choose some story books that use these colors.

The Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young is a very brilliant storybook with lots of bold colors.  The blind mice encounter something huge and they’re all trying to guess what its it.

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Though, you can start with this excerpt from Genesis as you move into COLOR, you may also end with the story of Noah and the appearance of the rainbow after the great flood. Discuss further what the rainbow meant. This can be your way to segue to the secondary colors too.

Hope you have fun with color this week.

Genesis 9:16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.


An Art a Day Takes the Blues Away: Have a Colorful Homeschooling Day!

So we’ve done LINES and SHAPES , and a little bit of FORMS.  Check the other posts under the Art Attack category on this site if you are new to this blog.   It’s getting more exciting and what could be more exciting than COLOR?  Can you imagine Art apart from COLOR?   I am sure at this point,  you can’t help but jump into it. Who wants a  a boring study session on COLOR and art concepts/terms pertaining to COLOR?   I guess the best way to start the series on COLOR  is to just get messy and splash around, especially with young, energetic kids.

As you take your students into the wonderful world of Color in your Art Lessons,   try to just expose them to seeing lots of COLOR through beautifully colored story or picture books,  photography books with lots of colorful images . I chanced upon this blog post on color.  I also looked for nice images or quotes about COLOR and it would be good to show these images  to your students. This may be a good time to introduce the two accepted ways to spell, “COLOR/COLOUR”.

Photo Credit: breezymary.tumblr.com
Photo Credit: http://www.quotesvalley.com/quotes/colors/


Ask your children about what he/she thinks about these “quotes”.  You may then ask, ” What is color?  What would life be like without colors?  Why is COLOR important?  If you were a color, what color would you be and why?   Oh, you can ask a lot of questions and just enjoy listening to your students answers as you open up as well.  It can become a writing activity so you can take down notes on what your children say. At another time, they can write about “Color” and  their experience in these activities I am about to share with you.   (Remember,  when you ask your children to write (output) , you have to create opportunities for relevant and substantial exposure to stimuli or experience (input)  about what they may write about . When they lack words, for instance, in trying to write about what color would they be if the could choose, you can refer back to your notes when you were in a discussion and give your students some guidance on how to create a few sentences with his/ her oral answers which you took down)You will definitely get to know each other as you open up yourself as you answer as well,  Let your children direct you in your follow up questions.

You can even be a bit more “philosophical or emotional” by asking, What do you think it means when someone says “You add color into my life“, or “You color my world with bright colors.” You can even use this time to just allow your students to express even more through some  “exercises on expression, descriptions and communication in general. You can ask, ” If you were to describe the color blue to a person born blind, how would you do it?  How about for red? ”   ” Do feelings have colors?  What feeling does “black” communicate?

You can delay the “theoretical aspects” as you just try to engage your children’s  imagination and interest. For now,  here are two activities that can just make your homescool day COLORful and FUN.

Marble Art Activity

Task: To use marbles dipped in poster paint to create wonderful lines criss-crossing  and to see effects of different colors mixing together ( creating secondary colors)


A Basin/Tray or Bin large enough so a white board paper can be secured via tape on it

A few  small marbles

A palette with 6 wells or ice trays or muffin trays

Paint : Poster/ Tempera/Arcylic mixed with water

Paint Brush

Board paper

Scotch Tape

Color01 Color04



1. Secure a white/ cream  board paper or watercolor paper in a large basin or rectangular bin using scotch tape

2. Coat each marble using your hands or paint brush with  one color at a time.



3. Drop the coated marble on the basin/bin. One marble at a time. Then start moving the bin/ tray to make the marble roll and leave “streaks” of color as it rolls.



4. Add another marble dipped in another color and repeat step#3.


Use a different combinations of colors.


For this exercise, when “red” and “green” streaks overlapped, ask your students, “What color do you see? ”


Task: To create splashes of color


Old rags/Cloths cut into small strips and rolled into small clumps secured by safety pin ( size of golf balls or ponkan fruits)


Pails of assorted colors of watered down poster or acrylic paint



1. Soak the clumps of cloth in different colors (Assign one “cloth ball” per color).

2.  Outdoors, find a wall with  a ground (garden) that can get soaked with washable paint/ water.

3.  Cover the part of the wall which you plan to use with 2 -3 newspapers.

4.  Use paper suitable for painting ( watercolor paper, tough cartolina or board paper). Stick the paper on the newspaper covered part of the wall using gentle tape.





5. Get the soaked cloth balls and try to wring it.  Throw them into the direction of your paper as if you were pitching a ball in baseball. As the “ball” hits the wall, it will create a splattered effect such as these below:




Aren’t they pretty? This was really fun. At one point, my daughter decided to “make some adjustments” and modify the activity.  She decided to just press the soaked cloth balls on the top of a cartolina and let the paint ooze out in a line going downwards.  It has such a beautiful effect.

Color15 Color14 Color16


Don’t forget to include your children in every “clean up” after Art.  As you can imagine, this was quite messy with lots of stuff to wash, wipe and mop. Make sure your students do their clean up duties well.


Now, we hope we got you and your homeschool excited for these 2 activities. Have a COLORful Homeschooling Art Activity soon:)




Genesis 9:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.



Shapes, Lines and Forms: Putting Them All Together

Sometimes, I find myself seeing potential in every day stuff: boxes, ribbons, jars or  bottles.  So, our household  gets quite crazy when I just can’t seem to easily throw stuff. I’ve used chocolate boxes, wine bottles, bike part boxes, appliances boxes and giant furniture boxes for so many projects that have brought so much learning and fun and many beautiful memories.

For this project, it began with a toothpaste box.  I just knew with a few add-ons and adjustments, we can turn it into a delivery “truck”.  Since we are doing the series of Lines, Shapes and eventually Forms in our Art Attack series, I decided it was best to share this as “application time”  to create a something 3-Dimensional project.




Here are your materials:


Black board paper ( scrap paper), double toothpaste box, scissors, glue gun with glue stick, black pen, double sided pen, small cube or rectangular prism box, scotch tape, white paper, cutter or cutting system, and googly eyes.


This is one of my best buys in my “Scrapbooking” career. Creative Memories Cutting System (The circle is the most useful) that allows you to perfectly cut circles (and other shapes) in different sizes.


Fiskars also has  its own cutting system. You can also use any circular object like coins and draw around and have your kids practice their fine motor skills in trying to cut around to create circles.


Use scotch tape to seal the flaps of the smaller cube or rectangular prism shaped box  then cover with  white paper like a gift.  Use glue or glue gun to seal the flaps. Scotch tape will make it obvious and if you wish to paint this, the scotch tape is hard to paint over. 


Handle the glue gun with care with children around. An older child can have a go in pressing the trigger however make sure the tip is out of reach all the time.  Craft glue can be used as well but dries and seals longer. Craft glue or double sided tape may also be used if you want the children to do it all on their own.  Always unplug the glue gun when not in use.



You may wish to paint this smaller box if you wish.  Attach the wrapped box to the toothpaste box and add details.



Add a sun roof and the wheels. You can add more wheels and turn this into Math for smaller children. An eighteen wheeler truck is nice to make!






You may opt to get another similar box so both sides have the same design or signage. Make sure when you stick the wheels their farthest edge should meet the edge of the box.





Draw some details into the front part of the truck. And you may use buttons, or circular embellishments or goggly eyes for the “head lights”. You may add plate, and a truck number,  a muffler or bumpers.

image1 FullSizeRender


All ready to deliver toothpaste ! Let’s go!


An Art a Day Takes the Blues Away: Art Works using Lines & Shapes

We have been studying these elements: Lines and shapes in our past entries in the Art Attack category. For a relaxing Art session with your kids,  just review and talk about what they’ve been learning about Lines and Shapes. Then just allow them to create something to feature or show what they have learned. Let me show you what our kids created:


You can use different colors , using marker pens, crayons, oil pastel, poster/tempera point so your student can have a go with different media.
You can use different colors , using marker pens, crayons, oil pastel, poster/tempera point so your student can have a go with different media.
Allow your students to use one shape and make different sizes using a template or coins, sauces, lid covers and try to make him think of that they are. Here my son chose circles and decided the many circles were Uranus and its many moons.

For contour, you may introduce positive and negative images.  Check this video. My son chose 23 since they were into basketball and he was a fan of Michael Jordan.


In the next two works, we applied lines, shapes and primary colors.  Here, we dipped some strings (at least maybe 3mm )in black paint and “stamp” them on the paper as lines. My two sons were free to choose how they wanted to “stamp” the inked strings. After the black markings dried, they used primary colors to color the spaces to create a designs as inspired by Piet Mondrian.


Photo/Work Credit: http://www.happinessishomemade.net/2014/03/17/kids-homeschool-art-lesson-piet-mondrian/
Photo/Work Credit: http://www.happinessishomemade.net/2014/03/17/kids-homeschool-art-lesson-piet-mondrian/

If you’d like to see an Art lesson on Mondrian, click this unit on Piet Mondrian.

For older children, you can introduce creating 3-D shapes. These videos are good tutorials:

Look at the kids’ works after learning how to draw rectangular prisms and cubes.


As you assist them to create, try to give them as much freedom.  Refrain from commenting too much or directing the Art experience. Rid yourself of what is and what isn’t beautiful or what is right or wrong in Art expression. Try to just encourage children to express without trying to conform or without pressure to please you.  Don’t be too quick to ask, “What is that ( that communicates that you don’t get what they’re trying to draw) ? Just wait.  More often that not, they will talk about what they had just drawn.

Happy Drawing!

1 Timothy 4:15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.