Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons. -Al Hirschfeld
Okay, so I will admit that I haven't done a good job maintaining this blog but starting now (for real), I plan on getting better about it. I am new to this whole thing but have so many great ideas to share and really want to get better. I am going to set aside one afternoon a week to devote to sharing my current favorites and would love to hear any feedback. And if you are on the search for something for a particular child, please let me know and I will see what suggestions I can make.
So, I am a huge fan of coloring and when I find a new coloring book or activity book, it is almost impossible for me to not buy it. I admit that I will spend hours looking through the book and you might just find me coloring in it too! It's like a form of meditation for me and I love the feeling of calmness that comes over me when I find a great picture to color. I have found similar reactions with many of the children I work with as well. And when they complete one of those pictures, no matter how simple or complex it is, the pride I witness after is amazing. I make a big deal when a child completes a coloring page because it is a big deal for children who have fine motor delays.
Coloring works on so many things. Here are a few of the goals that might be targeted:
- Improving writing instrument grasp. If your child is young and has an immature grasp, try breaking crayons into small pieces (a couple of inches will do). This will encourage a tripod like grasp. Experiment with different crayons, colored pencils and markers for older children.
- Improving eye-hand coordination. Encourage your child to remain in the lines if they are capable.
- Improving attention span and focus.
- Improving endurance for fine motor and graphomotor/handwriting activities.
- Improving visual motor and visual perceptual skills.
- Improving imagination skills (books that have a doodling and drawing aspect to them).
- Improving self-esteem and confidence.
Here are a few of my favorites....for the moment. I have broken them down into younger and older children because some of them are definitely geared more towards certain age groups. Of course, sometimes it doesn't matter how old your child is and you should choose based more on their skill level. It is important to choose the book that matches your child's abilities so they can be successful and not become frustrated. Also, make sure your child knows he/she don't have to finish a picture in one sitting. I sometimes have a child work on the same picture for a little bit of time each session and once it is completed, I can get it framed. There is something very empowering about a framed piece of art and being able to show it off to all your people!
I hope this post motivates you to go to your local bookstore (support small local bookstores whenever you can even though all my links are to Amazon!) and pick out some fun new coloring books. Make it a family activity.
Happy coloring and creating!