Spring Break – a great time to get out with the kids, play at some parks, and soak in the…rain? What? Rain? Seriously…all day…and I am with two boys ages 4 and 6? Ergh…
I don’t know when it started, I don’t know if it was a request or if it was an idea, but at some point in the last few years I became a master creator of coloring pages. Utilizing Microsoft Word and Google Images, I can cook up a custom made page to suit any need. I’ve created jungle landscapes with animals of a child’s choice, underwater scenes depicting sharks, jellyfish and the cast of Finding Nemo. My crowning achievement was a gingerbread house with Santa and his reindeer flying in the background, a T-rex taking a bite and Spiderman hanging from the eaves of the roof.
So of course as the morning rituals came to a close and the “what’s next?” vibe hung in the air, I suggested coloring. They were all in as they usually are. Lately, I had introduced the boys to Mario Kart. Now, I’m not at all a video gamer. I own a Wii for reasons a normal gamer would scoff at but one of the games I own is Mario Kart. As my oldest began asking more and more about video games and was even using a Wii in his gym class to play Just Dance, I had little qualms about exposing them to Mario Kart, a fun, light-hearted racing game. Little did I know that this would be a full on obsession.
“Can we print Mario Kart pictures?” Liam jumped out of the gate.
“Yeah, like Luigi?” chimed in Ben.
“Or Bowser! Mario, yeah, you have to have Mario!”
“King Boo! I want King Boo!”
The creative synergy between my two sons and my ability to make it come to fruition resulted in 17 pages of Mario Kart inspired coloring.
“Let’s make a track.” said Liam, realizing how cool this was to him as he was saying. The smile spread wider with each syllable. “We can put it on the floor.”
“Or we could hang it on the wall…” I replied, casting out the bait for what I could see as being a whole day event. Rainy day, solved.
It was on. We had printed a color sheet of all the Super Mario characters as reference for color and we hung that on the wall. We called it the Mario Kart Project and I added DLB Studios to the sheet along with the project title. We were now an official creative firm. We colored all 17 pages, ate lunch, made a quick trip to get some supplies and then Liam set to creating the track, while Ben and I handled other matters. By 3:00 We had an L shaped track hung, 4 characters placed on it, all with backstories and what power-ups they possessed or were about to fall victim. We took our final snack break, made plans for the future of our track and celebrated our progress with a few races on the actual game.
Rain, rain, don’t go away, please come back another day…