We’re thinking about sending this guy to school next year and his preschool teacher has mentioned getting him to practise holding his pencil correctly and thinking about what he is actually drawing, rather than an excited and hurried dash across a page.

So I decided a spot of art and maths would be a fun way to practise. First I used washi tape to make a border around a sheet of water colour paper. Then I marked a dot in the centre of the page and got Wolf to use a ruler to draw lines through the dot, til we had lots of triangles. Then I used the washi tape as a guide to draw a circle round the dot and rubbed out the centre marks.

Then it was up to him to choose a colour and practise gently filling in the shapes with the water colours, working hard to hold his brush correctly, softly dancing the brush across the page, trying to make sure only the bristles touched the paper, not the hard shaft of the brush as well, and attempting to keep his brush within the lines.

(Now, I’m not bothered with militantly keeping within the lines when colouring, I think it stifles their creativity and limits their capacity to problem solve, but for the purpose of this exercise I think it was good to be mindful of the final outcome he was trying to create, and to practise his brush control.)

We counted shapes, we spoke about colours and shades and blending colours, we concentrated, we talked about direction, with a big smile on his face the entire time.

And when he’d finished I peeled off the washi tape and he was so pleased with the end result.

I like learning with a smile.