Tag Archives: kids drawings

when Twitter is awesome

I’ve mentioned #ShapeChallenge in a few recent posts – it’s a creative challenge on Twitter that my boys and I have all been taking part in. Author Sarah McIntyre posts a shape (a black outline with a red dot in it) every week day and lots of people (adults, kids, professional artists, people ‘just giving it a whirl’… ) draw something based on it and then tweet their work. Sarah doesn’t post a shape at the weekends though, instead she asks someone else to draw and post a shape for everyone to use. Very excitingly, this weekend my older two boys (8 and 6) were invited to do it!

alexander's shape

Shape designed by my 6yo

JB shape

Shape designed by my 8yo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was fantastic! I let them both have (supervised) access to my Twitter account and when people began to post pictures based on their shapes my boys replied to them. It was so lovely to see them engaging with a creative community in this way, and people were so responsive and kind. Some even drew pictures with the boys in mind, like Dark Derek who turned my eight-year-old’s shape into a Star Wars B1 battle droid!

The boys did tweet some responses that made me giggle a bit, like ‘you have pro skills!’ from my eight-year-old to a professional illustrator, or ‘keep up the good work!’ from my six-year-old to an artist six times his age, but everyone took them in the way they were intended. People were so warm and thanked my sons for the shapes and complimented them on their own drawings.

bowtie mandoodlesaurgoblin man

It’s been such a positive experience for them – my eight-year-old in particular has been bouncing off the walls most of the weekend saying “It’s amazing what people are doing with our shapes!” He says he feels really proud of himself and that he thought he wasn’t any good at art but now he thinks he must be because ‘proper artists’ have said nice things about his work. It’s given him a real confidence boost. My six-year-old’s class at school is also going to be using his shape in their next art class too! I’m so thrilled that both boys have been able to have an experience like this – I feel like it’s benefitted them in all sorts of ways.

Hooray for creativity – may it weave its magic through your lives too. :)

racing cars

By my eight-year-old. The original shape was that of the green car.

Writing Bubble

Little Hearts, Big Love

the remorseless horse – limerick challenge #28

I’m in the process – the S-L-O-W process – of putting together a book of limericks for kids. This means I pretty much always have silly rhymes churning around in my head and am constantly on the look out for inspiration. Usually it comes from my sons who like to throw animals at me (not literally) to write about. This week I combined their request for a horse limerick with The Prompt over at Mum Turned Mom which was ‘lazy’.

I’m keeping all my best limericks for my book, especially the ones I think kids will like, so this isn’t one of my, or my sons, favourite ones. I think it has too much of an adult theme. Still, they both illustrated it for me as you can see below and their pictures are much happier than my words I think!

A lazy, unpleasant old horse
To his wife showed no thought or remorse
When he yelled “Make my tea!
I’m watching T.V!”
Don’t worry – she left him (of course).

 

horse watching tv 2

By my 5yo – horses watching (car) racing on T.V. I think.

 

horse watching TV

By my 8yo – a horse watching special ‘horse news’ – a much happier scene than my limerick suggests! :) (and can you spot his Harry Potter obsession sneaking into the picture?)

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quidditch limerick – limerick challenge #26

My oldest son has been obsessed with Harry Potter since last Christmas when we gave him the first book in the series. Since then he’s taken every opportunity to give whatever he does a Harry Potter theme. He writes stories about  him, draws pictures, makes potions, he’s built a whole Harry Potter world on Minecraft… he even has an uncanny ability to make all his homework about Harry Potter!

He asked me to write a Harry Potter limerick for him a while back – which I did – but, of course, one wasn’t enough. More recently he set me the challenge of writing one about quidditch – the sport that is played in all the HP books. Don’t ask me why, but somehow it felt like cheating not to have that word at the end of the first line and thus part of the rhyme.

Quidditch match  - by my seven-year-old

Quidditch match – by my seven-year-old

But what rhymes with ‘quidditch’? You might be thinking.

What indeed:

The secret to winning at quidditch

Is eating a lot of fresh spinach

It will give you great speed

And the skills that you need

To administer major ass-kickage.

 

Ok, I didn’t exactly nail it. Try reading it out loud after a few glasses of wine though and the rhymes start to sound almost reasonable. Promise.

My son drew the picture – I think it’s his best yet! He wasn’t so convinced by the limerick – he liked the spinach rhyme but I had to explain what ‘ass-kickage’ was, which took away from the impact. He did award me marks for ‘trying really hard’ though. :)

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Since first publishing this post I ended up writing another quidditch limerick while engaged in a sort of ‘limerick-off’ (like a dance-off only involving emailed limericks rather than dancing!) with my uncle. I thought I’d share it here since it is even sillier than the first:

 

I once played the great sport of quidditch

With sea-creatures hailing from Redditch

The seals were sensational

The lobsters… crustaceanal

But all the fresh air made the squid itch.

 

Mini Creations

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limerick challenge #25 – tiger

At the weekend my sons asked me to write a limerick about a tiger. I foolishly thought it would be quite a straight-forward one to write but somehow, despite all the rhymes for ‘tiger’ I thought up, it was tough to make it into a limerick. The one I ended up with had several endings all of which my older son objected to as ‘too grisly’. This one might strike a chord for the modern-day mountaineer though…

 

There once was a plucky young tiger

Who scaled the north face of the Eiger

But her ‘look at me!’ tweet

To show off this feat

Wouldn’t send – drat! No service provider!

 

Tiger on the Eiger holding a smart phone. Helicopters are hovering above (I'd worried him with grizzly ending  you see so he was making sure the tiger got home safely.

Tiger on the Eiger holding a smart phone. Helicopters are hovering above (I’d worried him with grisly ending you see, so he was making sure the tiger got home safely).

And if you’re wondering about my alternative versions, I’ll throw this one in for free:

 

There once was a plucky young tiger

Who scaled the north face of the Eiger

Where she fell from the top

Landed SPLAT on her bot

And splattered her guts far and wide(er).

 

There was another one where she got eaten by vultures too!

The picture was drawn by my seven-year-old using some new pastels he’s got that are water-soluble, hence it looking a bit like a painting. He found it tough to get any detail with them but they were pretty fun to use – I had a go too!

I wonder if you can send a tweet from the top of the Eiger?
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Harry Potter limerick (limerick challenge #24)

Since we gave him the first Harry Potter book for Christmas, my seven-year-old son has been obsessed with all things ‘Harry’. He’s read the first three books repeatedly (he wants to read the fourth but I keep putting him off because lovely characters are murdered in it!) and seen the first two films, his bedroom wall is covered with the pictures he’s drawn of the characters and synopses he’s written of the books, and he also writes his own Harry Potter stories.

His love of the books has even rubbed off on his five-year-old brother who now also draws masses of Harry Potter pictures too and is valiantly wading through ‘The Philosophers Stone’ himself despite it being at the extreme outer limits of his reading ability.

Harry Potter and Dumbledore

By my five year old – On the left: Harry Potter dancing (above Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express) and simultaneously kicking Voldemort while dementors fly above. On the right: Dumbledore.

Given all this, it was clear that my ‘Limerick Challenge‘ – where my sons choose a theme, I write a limerick and they illustrate it – was going to venture into Harry Potter territory at some point. This week it has. Here goes:

 

Harry Potter, a famous young wizard

Cast a spell to make light in a blizzard

But distracted by flakes

He made some mistakes

And turned himself into a lizard!

 

Harry Potter Lizard

By my 7-year-old: Harry Potter in a blizzard, accidentally transforming himself into a lizard.

In case you’re not acquainted with Harry Potter, a ‘spell to make light’ would be a ‘lumos’ spell. My seven-year-old decided that a lizard spell would be ‘liliros’ so hopefully you can see how, if caught in a swirling snowstorm, Harry might make this mistake.

As usual it’s silly, although it’s not one of my favourites I have to admit – I prefer writing weird ones about animals that talk and fart and try to get jobs on aeroplanes and, y’know, stuff like that- but there you have it. My boys were very pleased with it anyway!

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limerick challenge #23

It’s been a while since my last limerick challenge… nearly two months (I just checked)! The boys have been requesting I write another one for weeks but my brain has been far too taken up with editing my picture books. My manuscripts are out of my hands for the moment though, so I’m free for a bit of silly poetry.

This time my boys asked me to write a limerick about a ‘bird’ but I took the liberty of making it a swift because I’d already noticed that this week’s prompt was ‘gift’ and a rhyme leapt to mind! The illustration is courtesy of my seven-year old.

One day I encountered a swift

Who made me decidedly miffed

When from up in the sky

He aimed at my eye

And sent me a splattery gift!

 

Swift Gift

Prose for Thought
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Nikki Young Writes

limerick challenge #22

“Have you stopped writing limericks Mummy? It’s been AGES since you did one!”

My seven-year-old was sort of right. I hadn’t written one for him or his brother since November. I did post a couple of limericks just before Christmas but I didn’t show them to my boys for fear it would ruin their image of Father Christmas!

Anyway, the answer to his question was “Of COURSE I still write limericks! What would you like me to write one about?”

His answer? “A pheasant.”. Here goes:

 

One Christmas, an unlucky pheasant

Was ill with a cold quite unpleasant

He coughed and he wheezed

Then explosively SNEEZED

Spraying globules of snot on his present.

 

pheasant kids drawing

Pheasant sneezing on a present (illustration by my seven-year-old).

My sons’ verdicts?

Five-year-old: “That’s disgustuling.” (Bonus points for new word.)

Seven-year-old: “D’you know that’s actually quite gross?”

They’re right of course, but then I never aim for high-brow when writing for kids. Perhaps I should next time?

Prose for Thought

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limerick challenge #21

purple unicorn
My last post was on a heart-wrenching subject so I felt in need of something lighthearted… time for another limerick challenge! This time I wrote about a unicorn. My sons provided the inspiration and illustrations as always. The black-winged, purple unicorn is by my five-year old and the distinctly dragon-y one below was carefully drawn by his big brother (aged seven).

As usual, please forgive bad rhymes and general ridiculousness!

 

There once was a job-seeking unicorn

Who filled in a flight-staff recruitment form

But aeroplane seats

Don’t fit mythical beasts

And the poor thing looked daft in the uniform!

 

Unicorn uncomfortably wedged into an orange and blue uniform

Unicorn uncomfortably wedged into an orange and blue uniform (I think he’s decided not to board the flight)

Prose for Thought

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limerick challenge #19

dracula

It’s Halloween this friday so I just had to do a spooky limerick challenge! As usual my sons (aged 7 and 5) provided the inspiration and the illustrations:

 

There once was a vampire called Dracula

Whose blood-sucking skills were spectacular

Till once day he took

A swipe at a cook

And was staked through the heart with a spatula.

 

A cook (with bakers hat) staking Dracula. In pointilistic style - which seems apt...

A cook (with bakers hat) staking Dracula. In pointilistic style – which seems appropriate (point… geddit?)

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limerick challenge #18

penguin

Penguin

The boys asked me to write a penguin limerick a while ago. This weekend I finally managed to come up with the necessary ridiculous rhymes. I ended up writing two because I couldn’t bear to leave poor penguin in the difficult predicament! As usual my sons provided the illustrations:

There once was a tragic young penguin
With a beak that just kept on extendin’
It grew long and rubbery
And got caught in some shrubbery
Where his wailing was truly heart-rendin’

But luckily people nearby by
Responded to poor penguin’s cry
They untangled his beak
Got him back on his feet
Then all shared a warm apple pie

Penguin with his beack caught in the shrubbery - but don't worry! Help is on the way!

Penguin with his beak caught in the shrubbery – but don’t worry: help is on the way!

Prose for Thought