From a young age, we gear our kids up to color. We start to introduce colors to them and put the crayons in the tiny hands as soon as they can grip. We speak slowly and confidently at each color they pick up. They scrawl across all lines on the page when they begin, and as they age and mature they aim for within the lines.
As school-age approaches, your child may or may not be interested in coloring. In our house we tried and tried, especially as part of our pre-school homeschooling, to get our son to color. His father is an artist (although will deny the title), and his father is also amazing at art. We just wanted him to learn and watch, but he had no interest.
How To Get Your Child Into Coloring
We struggled to get our child interested in coloring. We weren’t interested in completing the pages with him. We sat with him. We encouraged and labeled the colors, but as we sat and watched he wasn’t interested.
I decided if I wanted my son to truly color he better watch me color. I could not handle the wide open coloring spaces in a children’s book (and frankly he didn’t seem to like them either). If you haven’t heard adult coloring is IN and HOT right now. So take advantage parents! Why sit and just stare as your child attempts to scribble a wide open space? Take charge and show them interest.
Adult coloring books can be found very inexpensively at discount outlets like Ollies. They range from $1-$10 depending on size and type of art included. You can also find books on sale at your local craft store. Some of the images inside of the books are excellent for children. However, some are too complex and fine lined for young ones.
What else do you need?
You will need to determine what media you like best. Do you prefer markers? Brush markers? Twistable colored pencils, regular coloring pencils or watercolor pencils? Do you like gel pens? Do you like to mix and match? What looks do you like?
Some adults just love to pick up what they have handy and color. Others want more of a plan and medium to use. I was looking to create art with my son while he colored. Not every piece I do is art, some are better than others, and some are made for a purpose of a gift. I choose color palettes from Pinterest and plan out each media component in the color scheme.
What are our favorite media?
I love watercolor pencils. Not all pencils are created equal and certain brands suit the work and shading I like better than others. Of course, higher end watercolor pencils provide the best and smoothest color (for my liking). We also enjoy the mix of these with gel pens and regular color pencils. We use a touch of olive oil on the regular color pencil to soften the lines in the coloring. Gel pens are great for small tiny spaces and provide a sheen and hue to the art making it truly unique.
Our 6-year-old loves crayons for his larger open areas. He does actually prefer the twistable color pencils, and watercolor pencils the most. And of course, he too loves the gel pen.
This activity is something that becomes a hobby and interest for your child. They begin to think about the colors, what matches, and learn the colors when they are young. They begin to sit in a chair, rather still for their age, and focus on a task for a length of time. It’s a calming activity especially before story time in the evening.
Coloring has become such a hobby in our house we are always looking for the next coloring contest. Parker has entered and won 3rd place recently. We are excited and thrilled for the next contest.
Tip: Choose a thicker paper for pieces you might give away. A 65# or 67# cover stock can run through a home printer easily. It provides a nice smooth, even, coloring surface that doesn’t fold when used with watercolor pencils. You can print images from online or you can photocopy purchased images on your home printer. Or get some help for cheap from a local print shop.
What can you do with the art?
If your child is creating amazing art or coloring pages you can buy an easy open box frame from your local craft shop. You can easily display the new pieces from school or your home in it as you wish. You can do the same with your own art if you want!
You can also create items out of the art. You can decoupage the pieces to coasters, jewelry and more. I have been creating bookmarks out of originals and scans. You can laminate them and cut them to size. Some pieces have repeating patterns and they are perfect for bookmarks.
Tip: If you love the piece so much you can’t bear the thought of cutting it, do a high-resolution scan and print it for lamination and cutting. If you are just keeping too many originals, it’s time to just take the original to lamination and cut it up.
We have also created framed works of mandalas we have created and spent hours on as works of art for the holidays. They are beautiful and a great addition to a living room or office space.
If you are looking for a way relax as a family, family coloring is something to consider. You can buy most supplies at a local craft store with coupons or online at Amazon.
A Family Lifestyle is not affiliated with any of these products or companies. We have used various brands in our house, and these particular ones have been liked or easily used for the cost. There are many other brands and options available that are lovely.