Do you remember magic painting? It’s where you colour a picture using just a brush dipped in water.

Today on my way to the post office, I passed by a shop that offered magic painting books on a table outside. Looking at the simple half-tone pictures brought back vague memories of my childhood — perhaps even from Kent Academy in Nigeria (where I schooled for first and second grade).

The memories, combined with the knowledge that the girls would love the opportunity to paint, made the books irresistible. I brought them home and they’ve been a big hit.

Instead of being printed with regular ink, magic painting pages are printed with concentrated dots of ink that are water-soluble. When water is mixed with the dots, they release their colour.

Aisha, 4yo, David, Calista, 21 months, Brioni, 3yo, January 2010
After rest time, the girls took their books outside to paint in the shade of a tree.

Brioni, 3yo, January 2010
Brioni was initially discouraged by the unimaginative results, but with Aisha at her side, she started painting as quickly as she could.

Brioni, 3yo, + Aisha, 4yo, January 2010
The girls' hand-eye coordination was developed as they tried to keep within the lines of each picture's colour.

Highly recommended activity for pre-schoolers!