We were back at Screen On The Green's Kids' Club yesterday and thrilled to see what was on - How To Train Your Dragon. This is a firm favourite of both my children. It's a great story about not fitting in, learning to be tolerant of others, being inventive, brave, and succeeding against all odds. Plus it's packed with fire-breathing dragons and edge-of-your-seat adventure. We love it.
Back at home we listened to the film's fantastic soundtrack; Buddy and Daisy were inspired to play with their toy Toothless (a Night Fury) and other soft toys that fancied being dragons. They dramatically re-enacted the film's spectacular flying sequences all round the living room and garden.
I suggested they might like to draw their own dragons - like Hiccup (the hero of the story). Buddy and Daisy were very keen to do this; they thought the drawings could be pages from the film's How to Train Your Dragon manual.
The paper, I was told, would have to look old - so last night we carried out the classic tea-staining technique. We used cream-coloured card, and after a spot of teabag painting we aged it by scrunching it up whilst soggy.
This morning, when it was dry, I singed the paper's edges to make it look even older.
Daisy got stuck in to her drawing straight after breakfast and was finished well before Buddy had even remembered our plans from last night. And what a fabulous dragon she has created (pictured below).
I knew there was a good chance Buddy wouldn't want to draw a dragon at all this morning. So I just left out the paper and pens. Sometimes this is the right thing for him - he often circles an activity and eventually swoops down and joins in in his own time. Sure enough, he took his time today.
But as you can see below Buddy eventually did draw a dragon - two in fact.
So how did I persuade him?
Well, I didn't. Music did. I played the soundtrack once more and suddenly he was all about the dragons again. He came and sat down and began drawing with great gusto. And while he drew he told me all about his dragons with the stirring Celtic music in the background, setting the scene perfectly.
And that - for Buddy, anyway - is how to draw your dragon.
[Buddy dressed up as the heroic Hiccup on World Book Day.]