Lately our son loves art time almost as much as reading time (well, not quite THAT much). One of his favorite tools is his set of Do-A-Dot markers.
They're like bingo markers, with washable paint. Easy to hold and fun to dab with, the markers come in sets of six. We have the bright primary colored pack. He loves to take the box, carefully choose a color, give it a shake, then hand it to me to open. I hand it back, he dabs four or five times, then reaches for the cap. He really enjoys trying to screw the cap back on, making sure to "accidentally" touch the tip with his finger in the process (did I mention the paint is washable?). Then he chooses another color, and we repeat. We had an issue with one of our markers a couple of weeks ago, so we contacted the company, and they very generously replaced his problematic marker and sent along this fun activity book in the envelope.
The pages inside are nice and sturdy (not flimsy coloring page type sheets), with simple, thick black line drawings and circles here and there for kids to practice their aim at with the dot marker. They're also perforated for easy tearing out of the completed works of art. He was so excited to open it up and get to work. He doesn't have the dexterity (or interest) to hit the dots yet, but he had a great time coloring in a fish and then a butterfly. I had no idea these existed, and now I see they come in all different varieties, including one about cars and trucks:
You know that will find it's way into our Christmas stocking this year.
Up to this point, we've mainly just used our dots on blank sheets of paper (or on precut pieces of cardstock to make bookmarks). I think I'll still keep using them this way most often, because I like to encourage the creativity and imagination of a blank sheet of paper. But the coloring pages look like they'll be great for practicing too. The inside cover of the book offered the idea of using white crayons for resist painting, which I'd never tried before. I took a blank piece of paper, asked him to name some letters that he'd like me to draw for him, then drew them thickly with white crayon. Then we dotted over them with the markers. We did the same thing with a few stars and hearts added to the coloring pages. He was delighted to see the image "magically" appear.
I think I'll be pulling these out often once winter hits. Do you Do-A-Dot? What is your favorite activity with them?
Disclosure: Although this reads a bit like an advertisement, we're not being compensated in any way (other than the activity book above, which was not in exchange for this post.) I just like to share the products that bring us joy.