Thursday, September 5, 2013

Perfect Coloring Books for Perfectionist Preschoolers

My preschooler hates coloring books.

He gets extremely upset when he makes a mistake (which is pretty often-he just turned 4 this summer, after all!) because you can't erase crayon or marker, the typical tools of the trade for this age. Both of his Grandmas have sent him some really great coloring books to entice him, but nothing could convince him, until finally we hit upon some outside-the-box solutions, and I thought I'd share them in case other mamas are struggling with the same thing! Without further adieu, here are my top choices for preschoolers who don't like traditional coloring books:

Scribbles series coloring books

This innovative coloring book series starting with Scribbles followed by Doodles and Squiggles comes from Japanese artist Taro Gomi and contains prompts rather than pictures to color in. A few pages have prompts an American probably wouldn't have included, but it's easy to cut out or ignore just those pages (like a very simple toilet with the prompt "Draw someone sitting"). My son actually loves this coloring book! I think it hopes that there is no real right or wrong way to do most of the pages which helps my son feel free to just enjoy being creative!

Pencils and erasable colored pencils
While non-sharp writing utensils are understandably the writing instrument of choice for most preschoolers, pencils like the Chunky #2 Pencils I bought my son, or Erasable Colored Pencils can really  bring out the creativity in a kid who won't let loose with crayons and markers. The funniest thing to me is that my son doesn't even want to erase all that often...he just wants to know that he can erase if he needs to.

Wipe away books
Dry erase, wipe away, or Wipe Clean books are another fun alternative to traditional coloring books and workbooks. Like the name indicates, they have slick pages so you can wipe away your marks with a tissue or paper towel or piece of felt. Roger Priddy, a baby book powerhouse, makes the best wipe away books for preschoolers in my opinion. We have two at our house and a handful more at my mother-in-laws house and he generally colors in at least one or two every day!

Dry erase colored pencils
Last but not least, Crayola's latest invention, dry erase colored pencils, is nothing short of brilliant in my opinion. They have bright colors, the wood makes them durable (I won't buy dry erase crayons anymore because they are so easily broken), they don't stink like dry erase markers, and they make beautiful lines and even shading, which is pretty much unheard of in the world of dry erase! I really hope they keep making these and make many more colors. I love these and intend to have a box on hand as long as they make them! When my son is coloring, the dry erase colored pencils are the thing I want to steal and use myself!

What drawing tools and books do your kids love?
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Becky said...

I've heard that coloring books aren't good for kids development (perfectionism, not thinking out of the box). My daughter just turned 4 as well, but she certainly doesn't color like other 4 year olds I've seen. When presented a coloring page, she scribbles all over it. I don't say anything as I've heard that coloring "within the lines" isn't good anyway. She seems to do better painting with watercolors though. Since learning how to (kinda) write her name in preschool, she seems just to do that on blank pages, instead of drawing something. Thanks for all the suggestions! I think they are a good way to go to encourage creativity.

Crunchy Con Mommy said...

Oh interesting! Mostly I have just heard that coloring in general can help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. But I agree, that definitely does NOT need to mean coloring in the lines in a coloring book, and options that leave room for more creativity are probably much better. Maybe it's a good thing my son doesn't like coloring books :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!!