This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Teachable Moments: Coloring

Coloring has always seemed like an easy, fun, and effortless activity, especially for me as a mom. My oldest loves to color, to create, and would spend hours drawing if I would let her. Coloring has never crossed my mind as an activity that needed a lesson. That is, until daughter #2 came along. The very idea of crayons and paper combined strikes fear into her little wiggly body. And fun? Not on your life. When I noticed her running to hide when the crayons came out, I started to get suspicious. When I realized (after working for months on drawing circles) that she's a lefty (being taught by a righty) and has an incredibly weak grasp we started getting serious. (And to clarify, by weak I mean she'd draw and the pencil would literally fall out of her hands when it touched the paper). Using pencils, crayons, and chalk (anything to create a drag and strengthen her hand muscles) we started making coloring a regularly scheduled activity around here. Her hand strength has improved slowly, but her coloring didn't. Hmmm....
This is her coloring...on her 3rd attempt at this particular paper (I had multiple copies).

So, to switch it up a bit, we changed sheets. Again...yikes.
As you can see, the face and pants I colored. I sat with her and thought, maybe coloring isn't something you should always just let go without some instruction. And I wondered, Has she ever seen me color? Really color? How about learning how to make the strokes? Decide which colors to use?
So I sat with her. Talked about what colors we could use. We've worked on correct positioning for pencils/crayons, but we continued to talk about how smaller strokes help with staying in the lines. Lighter, controlled motions help mistakes not seem so noticeable. Because they ARE going to make a mistake. And some, like my oldest will want to redo the entire sheet. And others, like my second daughter, will chalk it up as "too hard" and list it among Activities I Don't Enjoy or Care About. (Also known as Scribble Everywhere So I Can Get Through This Faster).
So I taught. And she watched.
And something happened.
My child that abhors coloring sat and colored. Happily. And even drew a duck at the top of her paper (I haven't worked out why yet, but I see the duck). :)
We've got lots of work to do, but it certainly was a teachable moment. And fun.
I forgot how much I love coloring, too.
Be on the lookout for some teachable moments at your house this week. Take advantage of it and forget about the laundry for a few minutes. It'll be worth it. :)


Katy said...

How old is your daughter when she worked on these? My 2.5yo likes to color - sometimes - but often gets impatient and scribbles fast and says she's done.

Raegan said...

She'd just turned three. My goal (which I didn't mention) was ALSO to help her learn to sit and work on a given activity to the best of her ability. She may not ever love coloring, but I could tell it was an area that needed help. And I recognized that I'd offered NO instruction at all.


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