As my girls are growing quickly, i’ve realized that it’s time to get them started on art projects(mainly coloring and scribbling). As i studied Elementary Education in College, i found that the earlier you introduce your children to coloring(scribbling) and different forms of art, the better. So with that being said, as soon as my girls were old enough to hold a crayon, i let them scribble away. There are many different items out there for young children, colors, markers, finger paints and more. Crayola has always been my brand of choice, as i know that they make non-toxic products and all but a few are washable.
For younger children i really like the plain ole’ crayola washable finger paints. Using finger paints is not only fun for the child, but helps them with fine and gross motor skills. The best way to use them is to get your child un-dressed out of anything except for a diaper and put them in a high chair and let them go crazy. You can give them a few colors at once…or just one at a time. Of course, you still have to supervise them and make sure they don’t just sit there and eat the paint. I love letting my girls finger paint and they really seem to love the feeling of the paint on and between their fngers. They also enjoy it because it’s nice and messy. BUT i think even more fun, is the bath they get AFTER they finger paint! Here is a link to the finger paints my girls like.
While talking about baths…i have to say we LOVE the crayola tub colors. The only issue i have with these colors is that…why would you put a WHITE crayon in the mix of colors when most bathtubs are WHITE??? I just take that color and throw it away since you can’t see it on the tub. BUT, the girls LOVE these crayons most of all..and they wipe right off your bathtub. Just be careful not to let them have more than one at a time because if they fall in the water they slowly melt away. My girls are really bad at wanting all the crayons to hold on to, in the tub. But after we went through one entire set of crayons in one bath setting i learned my lesson and only give them one color at a time. Here is a link to the crayons. I know you can get them at Target and walmart…i think i’ve even seen them at grocery stores and different pharmacy’s!
Another idea is just a set of big crayons. They are harder to break and the child has more to hold on to when coloring. These are great on working on fine motor skills. Here is a link to the crayons: http://www.crayolastore.com/product_detail.asp?T1=CRA+52%2D008T
Along with the giant crayons, we’ve found the following coloring pages quite nice for small children. They are big and the chances of drawing on anything other than their paper is small. http://www.crayolastore.com/product_detail.asp?T1=CRA+80%2D8302
One last great product made by crayola that we really enjoy, are the color wonder, coloring books and markers. They are nice and clean and mess free. I’m not sure at what age you can use them…but all 3 of my girls love coloring on these coloring books. Here is a link to the color wonder coloring books we use. They are great and so nice and clean.
One product i did not find i liked for smaller children, were the following markers for children 18 months and up:
The reason i don’t recommended these markers, is because they drip color/marker. I had originally planned to use these in the car while we were on our trip to Florida, not to long ago. THANK GOODNESS i didn’t pull those out for the kidos in the car. One day not to long ago i pulled them out to let the girls color with them and they were a mess! I mean color all over the place. To be quite honest, when i tried them myself, they dripped so much color I made a mess, myself!
When i bought the markers, i also bought the crayons that are marked 18 + months. These crayons are ok, but just not all that they are made out to be. I brought them out for my girls and they tried to color, but the round bottoms are so big, its hard for children with small hands to hold on to them. My suggestion is to stick with the old fashoined big crayons and not even bother with the markers or crayons that are made for the 12+ & 18+ children. They cost more and definitely aren’t worth the money.
While checking out the crayola website i found a great book on childrens artwork and celebrating the scribble. I have yet to read it…but i’m going to check and see if they sell it on amazon and check it out myself.
While talking about coloring and different coloring products, i also thought i’d share this cool website. We visit this website on rainy days and normally i let my 4 year old go through and choose a few pics to color. I also let her pick out a few pics for her sisters to color. These pictures are great because they aren’t just “coloring book” pages…they are educational. So, while your children are coloring, you can teach them about the number or letter they are coloring.
If you have any other great art items you can’t live without, please leave a comment so we can all try them.