Art and War

by threegirlpileup

Maggie has for a while been asking for “art lessons,” so together we’ve been working through the first book by Artistic Pursuits. I like the lessons pretty well, and Maggie loves them. I like that each lesson includes a work of art to discuss. Part of the excitement is also that we bought a set of special art supplies to go along with the book–drawing pencils, watercolor crayons, etc.–and we pull them out specifically out for doing the lessons. Plus I think there is something about working through a book that gives her some concrete evidence that she is learning and making progress. Interesting that she craves that, since I’m doing my best to remember that we don’t need it!

This week’s lesson was on observation, and the plan was to go on a nature walk (i.e. run around the backyard) and draw things that we saw. The rain thwarted that, so instead I set up a bunch of found nature items on our screen porch.

Meanwhile, Anna and I pulled out her decks of cards to play some War. Anna has played this game before with my dad, but I was recently inspired by Let’s Play Math to get it going again–how can you resist a description like “The Game that is Worth 1,000 Worksheets“? She suggests making “math decks” by removing all the face cards from the deck. This opens up all sorts of new possibilites, starting with basic War, in which the person with the highest card wins. After that, you can move on to addition War–each person turns up two cards, and the one with the highest sum wins. Then there’s subtraction War, and multiplication…check out the website for lots of other suggestions. Anna and I started with basic War. When Maggie joined us, the girls decided to try addition War; I thought Anna would need us to do the adding for her, but she surprised us by counting up her cards for herself.

It’s pretty exciting that Anna’s getting big enough to be able to play these kinds of games with us. It doesn’t seem that long ago that the only way Maggie and I could play a game would be when Anna was asleep, or else the pieces inevitably ended up swept onto the floor by some little hands. Something tells me it won’t be long before Anna gets in on the Scrabble action around here…