Contently Humble

A Charlotte Mason Homeschool in a Digital World

12 Free Public Domain eBooks for Drawing, Handicrafts and Games

The cold dreary days of winter are slowly starting to fade. In effort to bid a strong farewell to winter’s bleakness, I’m focusing upon summer and pondering planning. Summer is a time for outdoors, refreshment and restful thoughts. It’s also a time to revisit activities that seem to get pushed aside with the hustle and bustle of busy homeschool days.

 

12 Free Public Domain eBooks for Drawing, Handicrafts, and Games

 

Drawing is one such activity which seems to get pushed aside during the year. We use Ambleside Online for artist study, but I confess we don’t pursue drawing itself as an individual activity. It’s not for a lack of trying. It’s for a lack to time. A lack of priorities. I’m hoping the warm glow of summer sun will inspire us to start again. Along the way we will also focus upon a Nature Study of trees. Draw leaves, sketch branches, illustrate bark. No indoor study here!

I know not all days can be a sunny delight, so for rainy days we will revisit Sloyd and handicrafts. We will embrace the rain by filling the air with laughter and games to bring out the kid in all of us.

Drawing, handicrafts, games. Now, how do I make it happen? I’m a planner. I need guidance. I need free.

Just how many times can I mention I love public domain eBooks?

If you care to join me on this journey of summer creativity, I’ve found 12 eBooks that might come in handy for both of us. I’ve not read them all in detail, but as a perpetual lesson planner who grabs resources like a puppy after a chew toy, I’m excited to play around a bit and see how things work out.

Note: Click on the below titles or book images to be taken to a book’s download page. If you wish to download one of the books directly without using Google Play Books then click on the gear icon located at the top right hand corner of the book page. A drop down menu will appear. Select your download option from this menu.

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Willie’s First Drawing Lessons: Simple Lines of Nature

To start us on this journey may I say, “Living Book Alert!

Follow along as Willlie’s Mother and Father question him about his lessons from Mr. Graphic. Some key terms from the reading include perpendicular, horizontal, oblique, straight/curved lines and angles. My daughter already knows these words, but I’m going to use the word “review” as an excuse to read this 40 page book.

“But let me hear about curved lines first, Willie.  What is a curved line?”

“It is a line which does not go the shortest way between two points, but sweeps evenly out on one side or the other. I can show you some curved lines father. Let me see, – Oh! Lily’s horns are two curved lines, and that tall grass-flower by the post, bending down with the dew is a curved line.”

                                                   Willie’s first drawing lessons: simple lines of nature (pg 11)

 

Willie's First Drawing Lessons: Simple Lines of Nature (1857) - Google Ebook

Willie’s First Drawing Lessons: Simple Lines of Nature (1857) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Augsburg’s Drawing: A Text Book Designed to Teach Drawing and Color in the First Second and Third Grades

I confess-I’m a bit biased with this book. It quotes Hiawatha on page 20. Since we are in the middle of reading Longfellow’s poem I uttered a cheer of delight and besides, if a drawing book can quote Longfellow, I can’t go wrong. Right?

Not only is poetry included in this book, but also Nature Study! I can’t wait to dive into chapter 5 which includes drawing of trees and I know that once my daughter sees chapter 11 featuring the drawing of birds, there will be no going back.

Oh, and as for my drawing challenged fingers, I get to play with stick figures!

Augsburg's Drawing: A Text Book Designed to Teach Drawing and Color in the 1st to 3rd Grade  (1901) - Google Ebook

Augsburg’s Drawing: A Text Book Designed to Teach Drawing and Color in the 1st to 3rd Grade (1901) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Augsburg’s Drawing: A text book of drawing designed for use in 4th to 8th Grade 

Eager for more Nature Study with trees? Pages 25-31 will keep you busy.

As for the rest of the book, just let me say: “You’ll never look at basic shapes the same way again, ever.” I can’t help but ponder how much easier Physics free-body diagrams would have been if I had worked through this book with all of its drills on varying perspective.

Augsburg's Drawing: A text book of drawing designed for use in 4th to 8th Grade (1901) - Google Ebook

Augsburg’s Drawing: A text book of drawing designed for use in 4th to 8th Grade (1901) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Elementary Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing

Spheres, cubes, cylinders and lines are everywhere. Use these basic shapes to see the world anew.

Endless drill problems await you. Oh, look! Drawing a hollow tree stump is on page 113.

Elementary Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing (1891) - Google Ebook

Elementary Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing (1891) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing

I’m going to save this book to start prior to Geometry. If all is well with drawing these forms, then geometry should be an easier task to tackle. Most of geometry headaches are initiated by random letters popping up out of corners. If we make friends with these letters, they will act nice again when geometry rolls around in a few years.

Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing (1892) - Google Ebook

Drawing Simplified: A Text-book of Form Study and Drawing (1892) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Handbook of Foliage and Foreground Drawing

Field guides come in handy for identifying trees and foliage, but my drawing ability is still lacking. Consider this book a field guide/drawing book all-in-one. It includes trees such as oak, ash, elm, beech, birch, walnut, chestnut and more. It also includes honeysuckle, ivy, blackberry, aloe, corn plants, ferns, foxglove and other foliage.  Each section of the book would make a nice Nature Study in itself and the drawing aspect is an added bonus.

An instance of this want of close observation came under my notice in one of my sketching tours, and will perhaps serve to explain the difficulty which exists in distinguishing this species of tree from a distance, and shows the advantage of copying the leaf, the twigs, or sprays, and the branches near and separately, as is advised in this work.

Handbook of Foliage and Foreground Drawing (pg. 21)

The words, “sketching tour” caught my eye. I love this idea. Yep, we are going on a sketching tour this summer! It’s such a fun way to say Nature Study.

 

Handbook of Foliage and Foreground Drawing (1884) - Google Ebook

Handbook of Foliage and Foreground Drawing (1884) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

The Science of Drawing: Trees 

Dive into a world of branches, trunks and leaves. See how the overall forms of trees vary. Inspect fine details and leave knowing not all tree trunks are made alike.  I never knew how much I took a tree trunk for granted. Drawing them all straight is a disservice to the trunk kingdom. I promise to do better. 

The Science of Drawing-Trees (1839) - Google Ebook

The Science of Drawing-Trees (1839) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

When Mother Lets Us Cut Out Pictures 

Nature study is fun; however, for days it’s raining, grab some paper and scissors for an imagination boost. I can cut out a circle (lopsided) and a heart with ease. Snowflake cutouts are fun. Paper chains tend to be never ending. There is more to this world of cutouts. Be inspired by the ideas in this book and see what story you can create. Ummm, trees are on pages 22-23. Nature Study is never far away even on rainy days!

When Mother Lets Us Cut Out Pictures (1912) - Google Ebook

When Mother Lets Us Cut Out Pictures (1912) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Paper Sloyd: A Handbook for Primary Grades

We worked though part of this book last year so I’m eager to revisit it again. Sloyd is a fascinating concept and it’s time I refresh my memory. It’s not merely about making paper craft, it’s much more.

The Theory of Educational Sloyd (pg. 7) - Google eBook

The Theory of Educational Sloyd (pg. 7) – Google eBook

 

Paper Sloyd: A Handbook for Primary Grades (1905) - Google Ebook

Paper Sloyd: A Handbook for Primary Grades (1905) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Paper and Scissors in the Schoolroom

Sneak a little Geometry into your day, practice the art of Sloyd and take paper folding to a new level with scissors! The designs on pages 46-49 are on my summer to-do list. Imagine if you will, snowflake cutouts without a snowflake design. Envision flowers instead.

Paper and Scissors in the Schoolroom (1893) - Google Ebook

Paper and Scissors in the Schoolroom (1893) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

Applied Art, Drawing, Painting, Design and Handicraft

With multiple ages it can be challenging to find a “one handicraft fits all”. Imagine a book that breaks down drawing, design and handicrafts into grade levels. Looking for an idea for a 4th grader? Try silhouette brush drawings (pg. 97).  Seeking ideas for an 7th grader? Consider making books (pg. 170). Need help drawing trees? Turn to page 199.

The book even includes lesson outlines for each grade level. It appears we might be skipping a few years with our Nature Study of trees. The book has it listed for 8th year students. So, gleam ideas from the book if you wish-holding firmly to grade level is highly optional. I do think it’s nice to see how the handicrafts increase in complexity as grade level increases.

Applied Art, Drawing, Painting, Design and Handicraft (pg. 368)

Applied Art, Drawing, Painting, Design and Handicraft (pg. 368)

 

Applied Art, Drawing, Painting, Design and Handicraft (1920) - Google Ebook

Applied Art, Drawing, Painting, Design and Handicraft (1920) – Google Ebook

 

12 Free eBooks

 

What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes

I think the title says it all. Five hundred! Imagine having a themed birthday party based upon the early 1900’s. These games would be a great lesson on how children played prior to living in a virtual world. While some of these games seem dated, some are timeless, such as the bean-bag board and ring-toss (pg. 114).

If you want more than games, be sure to peruse the book list on page 370. Wow! Thanks to AmblesideOnline (AO) I recognize many of the books listed. How cool is that?! By the way, if  you happen to recognize the author of this book, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, she also wrote Understood Betsy which is on AO’s Year 2 literature list.

 

What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes (1907) - Google Ebook

What Shall We Do Now?: Five Hundred Games and Pastimes (1907) – Google Ebook

 

 

Looking for more free inspirational ideas? Just click on over to iHomeschool Network’s “The Best Things in Life Are Free” link-up!

The Best Things in Life Are Free

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3 Replies

  1. This post is awesome! So many cool resources!

  2. This is really neat! Thanks for sharing these free art lesson books!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these! A few of these are going to be used this summer and others will definitely be added to art lessons during the school year.

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