Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coloring Time

In my opinion, you can never help develop the motor skills too much! I feel that you should get your baby working on coloring as soon as he or she knows how to grip a small object well. I bought the Crayola Beginnings Triangular Crayons, and I absolutely love them. My baby coloring tip would be to buy these crayons! The triangle shape helps to encourage a proper writer's grip and they also always come washable. The wax is extra soft so it is easy for baby to make a mark. I have found that with regular crayons, the wax is too hard, so no matter how hard baby presses on the paper, it just doesn't cut it. This only confuses and bores baby.

If you have been following my blog so far at all, you have probably noticed that I am obsessed with poster board. So my second coloring tip to you would be to get a whole big packet of poster board. You can probably even get it at the grocery store since that's where I buy mine, and a package is only a few dollars.

Paper is much too thin and small. It moves, it crumples, you have to be on a very solid surface, probably taped down so it doesn't move as baby puts the waxy crayon down...Save yourself the struggle and just get some poster board. It's big, it's tough and it is great for sprawling out on the floor with some big washable crayons.

To the right, as you can see, Adrianne is sprawled out on the floor with her crayons and poster board and she is able to go so far beyond a measly 8.5"x11" piece of paper's limits. Even on the carpet she can crawl across the poster board without much difficulty from bending and crumpling. Poster board can admirably take more toddler abuse than most any other toy can, and it will.

Teach your baby by example how to color with the crayon by dragging it across the paper. Then let baby hold the crayon, and guide the baby's hand to color. It won't be long before baby whisks away your help and goes to town.

When your baby is a fairly advanced color-er, get a jumbo coloring book and teach him how to color on the pages, turn the pages, and encourage him to color in the lines. Of course, your baby won't color in the lines for a very long time. But the book will give baby a greater sense of freedom as she can choose which page to color on and where to color, etc. Adrianne has a 400 page jumbo coloring and activity Hello Kitty book. I would have to say that turning the pages to find the perfect spot to color is probably her favorite part!

Notice also that I have a miniature person sized simple white table and chair set for her. She loves this because she can easily (most of the time) get on and off the little chairs all by herself without help. I love this because it is a smooth white, easily washable surface for all those little oopsies. But I have to tell you, the Crayola Beginnings crayons are so washable that I even got them out of my carpet with little more than water.

All our hard work has paid off now. Observe! Adrianne is 15 months old and she already has a nearly perfect writer's grip! Amazing. I think most kids can't brag that until they're 6 years old!

I highly encourage you to start coloring with your baby as early as possible. If your baby is now a child, I STILL encourage you to color away. Creativity is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. And I think it's safe to assume that I am ALL about fostering creativity.

Have fun, my little artists!

1 comment:

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