When we were small, my dad played artist games with us.
Animate Your Lunch
Can Anyone Decipher Daddy's Handwriting?
Guess the Picture Book Illustrator
But my favorite game by far was Hide.
All it required was a pen, paper and an alphabet letter. Restaurants and waiting rooms loved us - those quiet kids in the corner, smiling as we turned our "H" or "A" into ladders, hats, baskets of fruit.
We gave my dad the hardest letters we could think of, but he still transformed "Q" into a Sistine Chapel masterpiece.
Another favorite dad game was Think Pinks,
a kind of rhyming word war.
He'd start me out with a pairing...
and I'd retort with
or burly squirrelly, thin pin, tall ball, long song...
You get the idea: rhyming ping pong.
I guess you could call it Poet Training.
Maybe that's where I got my word games obsession.
We made chameleon viewfinders this week.
I cut chameleon shapes into mat board
with my trusty kitchen shears
and then took the kids to the beach.
(in January. It was freezing. Nice, huh?)
Sugar Snack tried himself as camouflage
Once we warmed up at home, we made chameleon floats,
Rose Parade style.
I scribbled pages of chameleons, gave the kids paintbrushes, glue and grain
and let them loose.
After taping on Popsicle sticks, there was a chameleon float parade.
Little petals of rice and lentils bespeckled our floor for days.
We may not play a strategic game of backgammon,
but we artists know how to make messes,
and how to play with our words!
Some excellent chameleon books:
Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett is simple but brilliant.
Her soft, playful art is lovable, and just look:
chameleon as a sock!
chameleon as a boot!
How cute can you get?
Chameleon's Colors by Chisato Tashiro found its way in Pip's owl bag.
I love the vibrant colors and feel of this book. Clever, clever, it makes me want to have a paint party.
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni is a gem, even after being in print for thirty-six years.
Curious George Learns the Alphabet by H. A. Rey is a great example of the game Hide.