Friday, January 27, 2012

Share your child's can-do creativity!

Before I had Max, I had a defined sense of what "coloring" meant for a kid. Like many things, it was based on my experiences as a child. Coloring was drawing in a coloring book or freehandedly making pictures of stuff—flowers, a house, a robot, whatever. Random scribbling was for toddlers.

Then I had Max. And soon enough I realized that 1) The mere act of grasping a crayon could be considered a feat and 2) Random scribbling could be a means of expression for a child of any age.

For years, Max wasn't into coloring. More specifically, he wasn't into using his hands to do anything that required extended grasping. Therapists often recommended bulb-like "finger crayons" as well as adapted crayon holders. In the last couple of years, Max has gotten pretty good at holding onto the chunky kind of crayons. We have amassed quite the collection of purple ones.

Max's purple period, I call it—similar to Picasso's blue one. And just like that world-renowned painter, Max chooses to paint monochromatically on a white medium. Which is to say, the kid only wants to color in purple on white paper. I can't begin to express the delight he takes in coloring in every single millimeter of the page purple.

Once Max has finished his purple masterwork, he will inspect it and if there is even a teensy speck of white peeking through, he will color it in. The above piece of artwork is rare in that he decided to leave some white space, and it will surely someday go for a very high bidding price when it gets auctioned off.

Purple inspires Max.

Sabrina, meanwhile, is all over the rainbow. She never colors the same thing twice.

To me, their drawings are equally awesome.

I submitted both pieces of artwork to the 2012 All Kids Can CREATE campaign, sponsored by CVS Caremark All Kids Can. It's done in partnership with VSA, The International Organization on Arts and Disability. The purpose is to showcase the positive impact the arts can have on all kids. It's open to kids with and without disabilities, ages 5 to 15, who live within the U.S. This year's theme: "What inspires me."

Max's painting is entitled "Purple No. 1,000,000."

Sabrina's painting is "Under The Sea." She's inspired by creatures in the ocean, she said, because "they are free and have fun and it's so beautiful there."

You have until Sunday, April 8 to submit the kids' artwork here. It's super-easy: just snap a picture and upload. All submissions will be featured in an online gallery and considered for display in a national exhibit. It'll go on view in Washington D.C. this August, and will feature two pieces of artwork from every state and the Distric of Columbia. A group of young artists will be invited to a reception in Washington, D.C. Note: Art teachers who submit their students' artwork are eligible to receive $1500 for use in their classroom.

Please join Max and Sabrina and enter your kids' creations!

What kind of stuff is your child into creating these days?

This is one of a series of posts sponsored by CVS Caremark All Kids Can, a commitment to making life better for children with disabilities. "Like" them on Facebook!


  1. Oh, they are both lovely! Georgie has just started picking up a crayon,we make our's at home by melting down a whole lot of crayons in a cupcake tin, it's easier for him to hold. It's all squiggles , but he loves doing it!
    I love the Art Showcasing idea.
    Oh, and much like Max's purple period, for Georgie everything has to be red. :)

  2. Isabella is really into drawing wedding scenes....I think it's school influence thing.

    Before she would draw flowers and butterflies....that was her thing.

    Joey does a lot of scribbles but his scribbles are amazing and colorful and leaves a lot of white space but those lines are precious.

  3. My Max is not so much into drawing. Occasionally you'll get some cool scribbles with words mixed in. He seems to enjoy projects where he can glue pieces of paper together more. :-)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing. This topic really touched my heart. My daughter is 4 with spastic CP. She also has a hard time holding a crayon/pencil and has just started to be interested in drawing (scribbling). Can I ask how Max does in school in regards to writing? Any special adaptive tools he uses? I work with her to practice writing, but not sure what else is out there that may help her if writing becomes too difficult for her.

  5. these are great! reminds me of a fun craft i saw for valentine's day where all you have to do is cut max's creation (if the artist approves) into a heart shape, glue to a card and write "my art belongs to you." haha.

  6. would he like to scrape of a top layer of paint to reveal purple below. Can you remember doing the crayon coloured base that you then paint over with black poster paint then scrape off paint with a stick to make cool designs? He might just like the "magic" of that and I am guessing you may have plenty of "purple filled pages" so you could pinch one from him.

  7. My son's therapists, when coloring is involved, are always trying to get him to copy him - dot dot dot, straight line, circles - b/c they want to see him try to mimic. However, I have a hard time trying to keep him interested in coloring & not mostly interested in taking the crayons & lining them up or putting them in & out of the box. If he puts crayon to paper, that's good enough for me.


Thanks for sharing!

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