Monday, February 8, 2016

Goody Goody Gumdrops! Drawing Made Easy and Fun!

For those of you who are regular readers, you will know that I am always on the lookout for new activity and drawing books.  Yesterday, while walking through one of my favorite Park Slope stores, Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store, I found a great new drawing book:  Goody Gumdrops.  Some kids are naturals when it comes to drawing.  They think about what they want to draw and just go with it.  But for many of the kids I work with, this is not the case.  Not only is not easy for them, it is something that causes them to get frustrated and makes them want to avoid the task all together.

I was eager to test out Goody Gumdrops by Ed Emberley after I saw it the other day. My almost 6 year old daughter was also very eager to test it out and then played with it for about an hour. It is one of the cutest and easy to follow drawing books out there.  If you are unfamiliar with Ed Emberley, he has books filled with easy and creative ways to teach children (although I have learned as well) how to draw by breaking it down into simple steps.  I loved the fingerprint books that were (and still are today) around when I was growing up.  Each page of the Goody Gumdrops book contains two different colored gumdrops with two sets of directions to follow in order to learn how to make a variety of animals. On the back side of the page, there are two other gumdrops that you can try and make the animals without the visual cues.  Kids will learn how to make almost any animal you can imagine.  My daughter loved learning how to draw a hedgehog!  By adding simple shapes and lines to the gumdrops, they have a higher chance of success learning how to draw.  At the end of the book, there are a bunch of other pages with frames for kids to make larger creations that they can then share with people.

Learning how to draw is an important part of growing up.  Not only is it a great way to work on improving graphomotor skills, but it is also great for increasing a child's confidence and self-esteem.  It's also the way kids begin to learn how to tell stories.  Before they learn how to write, they need to rely on drawing pictures to tell us stories.  Often times, kids avoid drawing because it is hard for them and they don't think they are good at it.  Forcing them to draw won't make them learn any better or faster.  Actually, forcing a child to do something that is hard for them may make them hate it and avoid it even more. It's critical that when working on a more challenging skill, that you make it fun and motivating for them to work on.

I am excited to begin using Goody Gumdrops with my kids at work.  It's definitely going to be one of the books that I recommend to families to use at home with their kids.  Do you have any great learn to draw books that you use or recommend to others?  If you have anything wonderful to suggest, I would love to hear about them.  I am only a click away and love hearing from you all!

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