It’s no secret that some children are reluctant writers, my 5-year-old being an example in point. To encourage such children to get rid of their reluctance, it is essential to get them to keep practicing their fine motor skills (pencil grip) over and over again. But at the same time, it is equally important to give them the creative freedom to explore their interests, lest they lose motivation to keep trying. And what better way to do that if not through coloring exercises? In this post, I am talking about a few things that have worked for us in our writing journey. In addition, I am sharing with you, dear readers, a FREE 12-PAGE COLORING BOOK in collaboration with Kidloland, for you to nurture your children’s love for coloring (and writing in the process).
PS: If you haven’t read my review of the Kidloland Educational App, please do check it out. My son absolutely loves that app and if you have a preschooler/kindergartener, I am sure he/she will love it too!
Anyway, without further ado, let me share with you these 7 simple tips from my kitty to encourage your child to develop his/her coloring/writing skills.
1. Find printables related to your child’s interests
I cannot emphasize it enough, but children have very specific likes and dislikes at this age. So, you must find coloring pages which are in line with your child’s current interests. Be it animals, vehicles, planets or something else, as long as your child finds the subject of the printables interesting, he will be more than inclined to practice with them!
2. There’s only one rule to coloring – No rules
This point is something I struggle with a lot being semi-perfectionist. Art is art and there are no rules to it. If your child wants to color outside the lines, let him. If he colors the grass in rainbow colors instead of green, let him. Sun can be red and orange, the sky pink and the flowers white. IT DOES NOT MATTER. What does matter is that you and your child should enjoy the process and be proud of the final artwork, no matter how far-fetched it appears to your grown-up logical mind.
3. The type of art supplies matter
When our son was younger, his pencil-grip was not quite firm. Crayons need much more pressure than sketch pens or paint brushes. So, it used to frustrate him a lot when we used to color with crayons. He used to lose interest fast because his hands would start hurting before long.
So, to make coloring fun, first, we tried paint brushes (which need the least amount of pressure), then we graduated to sketch pens and finally to crayons. I know it is the opposite of the usual way, but it worked for us. First, our son developed an interest in coloring (from absolute reluctance), then he developed some patience and finally his grip was strong enough to handle crayons. So the moral of the story? Choose your coloring material based on your child’s hand-grip and preference.
4. Don’t worry about the mess
Any art project demands some level of messiness.
- Hands and face get painted instead of the coloring pages,
- paint is accidentally spilled on the table and drips slowly to the floor,
- handprints appear out of nowhere on your newly painted pristine walls,
- and many such big and small messes.
It is enough to make coloring a disliked activity for the parents. But there are ways to contain the mess. A giant plastic table cloth will do the trick for most art-related accidents and messes without stifling your child’s creativity. As for the handprints, they are what you will cherish when your child leaves the nest 😉
5. Color together
Sometimes, our son gets bored when asked to color on his own. And he loves it when we color together. So, if time permits, once a while, I & sonny just divide the coloring page into two parts and color together. It is a fun thing to do and a way for me, the parent, to know our son’s thought processes behind his coloring choices. And honestly, more often than not, it blows my mind at the crazy imagination that children have at this age!
6. Sometimes a blank page does the trick
Sometimes, you don’t need any elaborate coloring pages with endearing characters to get your child excited. A simple blank sheet will do the trick. So, once a while, I just give our son a blank page and ask him to draw anything he likes. Again, there are no rules. And I have seen him bring to life elaborate inter-planetary warfare with aliens, rockets, and robots, then draw a happy family portrait and then draw angry birds with extreme attention to detail. So yeah, every now and then, make the coloring pages blank and let your children’s imagination run wild on them.
7. Don’t sweat it
And last, but not the least, don’t sweat it if your child is not a big fan of coloring and writing (Mine sure isn’t!) And that is okay too. Give the above tips a try and who knows, maybe with you as his cheerleader, he will soon overcome his reluctance and develop a love for coloring.
Psst…Here’s a sneaky bonus tip for you to encourage your reluctant writer. Once the artwork is complete, do ask your child to sign his/her name on the page. And on the days he/she is feeling extra generous and happy, you can sneak in extra writing practice by asking him/her to write the object names in the picture too!
Free 12-Page Coloring Book Courtesy Kidloland
Before I end this post, here’s the download button to get your copy of the free coloring book courtesy Kidloland to encourage your budding artist. This coloring book has 12 fun, adorable animals, vehicles, sceneries etc. for your little ones to have fun with.
Over To You
Did you find these tips and the free coloring book useful? Don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments section below. Again, if these coloring pages are not exactly what your child’s interests lie in, then don’t forget to let me know that too in the comments section below. I will be happy to create more free printables keeping your child’s interests in mind and share them with you.
Also, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends on your favorite platforms, so that they can try out these coloring pages too!