July 9, 2011

Make a Colouring Book

Have you ever made your child a colouring book? I recently made one for Little One and he loved it. In fact, when he was done colouring, he said, "That was so much fun." I smiled from ear to ear. For this book, I printed only pictures of
"Things that Go".

I found nice pages at these websites:

These very nice chubby triangular crayons were given to me a few years ago by an occupational therapist. I have never seen them to purchase anywhere, but they are wonderful for little hands. It got me thinking about the best first writing tools for toddlers. In my search for more information, I found a wonderful website called The Motor Story. There is a great article on drawing here, where it is recommended that large markers are used as first writing tools. The reason given, is that the markers glide easily over paper and the thumb moves away from the palm of the hand, thereby enhancing the thumb strengthening process. In comparison, crayons write with more resistance. If you do give your toddler crayons though, preferably give them the chunky larger size. I would love to here any comments on this subject.

Till next time...


Joyfulmama said...

Hello Sweet Friend! Looks like Little One had a lot of fun colouring! I'm not the greatest fan of colouring books for children as I feel it hampers creativity a bit, but I also print out some pages for Sweetpea occasionally, especially when I can find some to tie in with a Bible story we've read / a current interest of hers.

About first drawing materials: before my eldest were old enough to draw, I read the book Montessori from the Start, and the author, Paula Polk Lillard, suggested that the best first drawing utensils are 'regular' pens and pencils (i.e. not the chubby, or kiddies variety). I only tried wax crayons once when my daughter first started drawing, but you are correct in saying that it is much harder for them to draw with, and I found it discouraged her in her first attempts at making a mark on the page. Instead she loved regular ball point pens and sharpened pencils. I do believe that giving her 'proper' writing instruments right from the start has contributed greatly to the fact that she has a perfect pencil grip and draws and 'writes' with confidence. I only recently (she is now 3 1/2) gave her chubby crayons for the first time. Interestingly, she now enjoys them, because her hands are stronger, while her brother who is 18 months younger, doesn't - it frustrates him and he still prefers 'normal' pens, markers and pencils.

I found the same to be true for scissors - I started out with the real thing: child-sized scissors with proper blades, instead of safety or plastic scissors that I know many parents prefer. I suppose that the book I mentioned earlier also influenced this decision, as well as the fact that we've taught our children to drink from proper glasses right from the start, or toilet trained them on a normal sized toilet instead of a potty: I feel it encourages them towards independence and autonomy, instead of teaching them one way, and then having to 'wean' them off of that onto the next level later.

I think it also helps to try and think back to our own childhood experiences: I can even now remember how I didn't like colouring books, but thought the greatest treat in the world was a blank sketch pad - oh, the possibilities!! And I did NOT like wax crayons as a child, but markers did, as you say glide on the page, and I loved them!

Thanks for the thought-provoking post...and my goodness, I didn't mean to write so much!!

Love to you and yours!


April said...

I just discovered your blog through Melissa Deakin's blog. I love her photography and thoughts. I am trilled to find you too. This is such a great idea to make a coloring book for your children. I have grandchildren coming to visit and I have been wondering what I can do to entertain them. This has made me start thinking and looking at the sites you linked. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about large crayons or markers. It makes a lot of sense. I wish this kind of information was available when my kids were little. However, I do have grandkids to play with so things are good. Thanks again. How is life in South Africa these days? Ooh, is it winter there?

Km said...

I love the open ended coloring type books.... There might be a bowl and the prompt says... What is in the bowl? Or draw colorful spahetti and meatballs! "TheUncoloring Book" is pretty neat too! For free printable my kids enjoy color me crazy's (.com or .org) collection! We also make mini coloring books with printable... To save on ink... :) :) HAPPY COLORING!

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