Why is coloring so important? Coloring is an important skill for children to learn for multiple reasons other than providing beautiful artwork to hang on the fridge. Coloring works on hand strengthening and endurance, hand eye coordination, prewriting readiness, visual attention/scanning/perceptual skills and creativity! Learning to color and try to stay within boundaries is an important first step in the development of handwriting skills.

Coloring does not have to be just sitting at a table and using markers/crayons with coloring pages. For children who do not love to color, changing things up out of the ordinary can make all of the difference. Finger painting can be a great way to get kids interested in coloring and is also a great sensory experience. Finger paints, condiments, shaving cream, water colors, mud, etc. are all fun and engaging ways to get children excited to color and draw. Try coloring on vertical surfaces like easels, paper taped to the wall, windows, and fences! Coloring on a vertical surface changes up the routine of sitting at a table to color, and is also great for strengthening! You can also try having children color toys or 3D objects that they can then play with. Try offering your child choices: marker or crayon, chalkboard or paper, blue or orange paper, etc. This will allow them to feel more motivated and in control of what they choose to do.

Start simple and increase your child’s tolerance and attention for coloring tasks. It’s okay if you get your kiddo to sit at the table for 10 seconds! The next time, have them try to sit for 20 seconds and increase from there. Remember to make it silly and fun- your child will love if you sit and color with them. Show them that it is okay to make mistakes, color outside the lines and try something new!

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