Crafty Cora is starting to get interested in activity books. You know, the ones you buy at the grocery store that are full of coloring pages, mazes, and connect the dots. As a professional art educator part of me cringes at the thought of them. They were an integral part of my own childhood, however, and as such my artistic development.
This morning we are coloring by number, per her request. Just as Duncum (1988) wrote of copying, there is some merit to this activity, even if the result is not an original work of art. Here are a few thoughts on that.
• Cora is focused and concentrating on completing a task. The smile on her face at the end was evidence that she enjoyed this as much as the process.
• She is learning to see numbers in use as symbols representing actions.
• She is participating, if unwittingly at this point, in an art making tradition with a history we can explore at some later date.
Here’s to breaking our own rules, sometimes.