This trip to the coast was last month. We visited the tide pools as our kick off to the school year. We had a great time and the weather was great for the Oregon coast. Lots of creatures were discovered and the girls were able to absorb the habitat. When we got home I read a little book to them about tide pools and then thought it would be fun to create a diorama. Although the project was done I can say it was not enjoyed.
I have discovered children do not want us telling them what to make. There is such a difference when creativity is self initiated. For this reason I now have an art response box that stays on the shelf for their choosing. This contains paper, paint, markers, pencils, scissors, tissue paper, and glue or similar variation of materials. This gives them the freedom to to make art that truly belongs to them.
They have always had art materials available but the box is something we use for "school". Whatever subject we are studying they are encouraged to use art as one way they might choose to process the lesson. Teaching a new mediums is helpful and they should always be shown the proper way to treat and use the materials. But as adults we need to make sure to protect their freedom of artistic expression even if it doesn't turn out how we would like it to.
BTW I have to say I prefer blank paper over coloring pages and dislike "how to" drawing books for children.