Ben has really come a long way with his art. A few months ago, if he picked up a pen or marker, he would just scribble all over the paper and call it done. (This is in marked contrast to the girls, who before they were 4 were making rudimentary pictures that almost looked like what they said it was, and by 5 were drawing pretty complicated pictures--for 5 year olds, anyway...) However, he began by concentrating more on coloring within the lines of pictures--none of my kids has ever been much of a fan of coloring books, they have always preferred to draw. I always preferred to color, but then again, I never had any faith in my ability to draw, even as a child. Then he progressed to drawing faces with details, then to adding arms and legs. Now he's on a kick of drawing knights with swords, usually stabbing a fire-breathing dragon, and there's always a pool of blood involved. The knight always has a big, happy smile. Guess he enjoys stabbing or something. At first he was drawing the knights without eyes (though they had noses and the aforementioned happy smile) and when I asked him why he didn't have eyes he said patiently, "Mom--he has eyes! You just can't see them because he has his helmet down!"
Why didn't I think of that?
The thing he does that surpasses the girls' skills is that he can cut perfect valentines. Julia can do that now, and maybe she's been doing it for a year now--but I KNOW she didn't so it at 5! Not only does he cut valentines, but he cuts them 3 to a paper, in graduated sizes along the line...so the bottom one is big, the middle one is smaller, and the top one is tiny. It makes a neat looking paper when he's finished, too.
And he is writing like crazy now. He writes the words he knows by heart: Ben, Mama, Emma, Julia, Mimi, Batman, etc. and he writes some words phonetically, like when he did a stencil drawing from his Batman book and titled it "Batman Villan"...but he also likes to copy words he sees on things--his favorite being "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." Kind of has a ring to it.
I will take a photo of one of his knights and post it later this evening.....