Value of All Colors

It’s difficult to imagine how hard it must be to parent small children in a world as unsettled as ours is at the moment. But it’s impossible to imagine how hard it would be to parent a black child, especially a little boy. It’s one thing to teach our white children empathy and sensitivity; it’s quite another to teach our black children how to approach the world, including authority figures, and stay safe. We can stress the necessity and rightness of equality, but the reality is that we still don’t have it. We appear, in actuality, to be moving backwards in time. And it’s disheartening and scary.

Yes, colors are important in painting. And even more important in life.

I can’t speak as an expert, and I don’t have the answers. In my GG Sprinkles video today, I decided to come at the topic through colors in general: in painting, we have primary colors which are useful to create many other colors. By themselves, they’re important but very basic, maybe even boring. As painters, we need lots of colors to make our paintings more exciting and realistic. As humans, we need lots of colors to make all our lives rich and varied. May our little ones grow up to be better painters in life and embrace the richness of all our colors. And may they all stay safe and happy.

Painting from the Heart

The primary colors, as everyone knows,
Are red, yellow, and blue.
If you mix these right, you’ll get the colors
Your painting needs you to.
Red and yellow give you orange
Blue and yellow give you green
Blue and red make the prettiest purple
You have ever seen.
It’s fun to play with every shade
And make them all my own
I need to remember the importance of each
Even after I have grown.
If ALL the colors do their best
To make an artful blend,
I hope that if it works for paint,
It will work as well for men.
They call them primary colors
But they are just the start
Only when we mix all of our colors
Are we painting from the heart.


I’m a huge believer in two things: the wisdom and potential of our children and the importance of poetry and imagination in their lives and development. My teaching background is at the high school level, but my methods in the classroom ran high in interaction and whimsy, at least as much whimsy as preparation for state testing allowed. I have four young grandchildren, and I nannied a little boy for over four years from infancy, so I like to think I know children pretty well. And I used poetry to teach and inspire no matter what ages I was called to teach. Poetry takes very big ideas and boils them down to nuggets of wisdom more easily understood. And then there’s the rhyme, such a valuable asset to pre-reading and a great hook to pull the little ones into the poetry itself. The rhythm, cadence, and yes, the rhyme, all have value for kids. Even if the full meaning of the words eludes them a little, there is value in what they do process. I have written and published two books of essays and poetry for teachers, but my greater joy came in writing poetry for children. I began a book of children’s poetry the day my first grandchild Samantha was born and fourteen years later I continue to add to it. I entitled it A Duck in the Sky, which comes from a discussion we had with Sam when she was just a toddler. We were talking about the meaning of life and Sam assured us that the meaning of life was, in fact, a duck in the sky. Fair enough, and a very good title. I never published my children’s book, although that will happen. But in the meantime came Covid and quarantine. I wanted to contribute something, to help entertain young children stuck at home, even if for only a few minutes at a time. So GG Sprinkles was born, someone who reads poetry and entertains with props, demonstrations, etc. Our videos began on a GG Sprinkles Facebook page, and shortly after that became a GG Sprinkles YouTube channel. So we now have quite a few videos available and I continue to write poetry. I have learned a great deal about a lot of topics: fairies, zebras, angels, octopuses, birds, superheroes, blanket forts, dragons, space, buried treasure, planets, burping, puppets, trains, unicorns, kites, magic wands, and so much more. It has been a pure joy to do this for the kids. And, of course, I’m learning so much along the way. We intend to keep the videos coming as long as the poetry comes and the kids and parents are interested. We’d be delighted to have you come along with us as we explore new topics poetically and just have some fun. GG Sprinkles welcomes you to any of the videos you’d like to watch and further thoughts here on my blog. Enjoy!

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