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Beyond the Coloring Book

July 20, 2016

Coloring Book 1

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and the perfect relaxing activity to take a break from your spreadsheets at work, the laundry piling up at home, or that never-ending to do list. If you don’t really want to share your coloring books with the kids, here are some creative, easy ideas that go beyond the coloring book.

Coloring Book 3

Graph Paper Drawing
A couple years ago, one of the few things on my nephew’s Christmas wish list was graph paper. He was genuinely thrilled to open up a gridded white board, and got to work right away creating all kinds of designs. If a blank piece of paper is too overwhelming for your child, graph paper drawing is a great alternative. The preprinted lines and shapes provide just enough structure while still allowing for open-ended expression. You can download and print your own graph paper in all kinds of designs, from regular squares to triangles, circles, hexagons, and more, here.

Coloring Book 4

Scribble Drawings
Scribble drawings are still one of my very favorite ways to doodle. Simply scribble a line (or two or MANY) on your paper and then fill in the spaces with color for a fun abstract design. Or, step back, take a closer look at your doodle and see if any images materialize. Can you see a face? A tail? Fill in the appropriate spaces to finish out what your imagination sees in the lines.

Coloring Book 5

Back and Forth Drawings
Turn coloring time into together time by playing simple drawing games together. Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids has tons of creative ideas. We tried “Horizon Drawings” here in the office. I drew a wacky horizon line on a piece of paper, then handed it off to Jennifer, who turned it into these delightfully kooky characters. Can’t you just imagine the story that is happening here?

Surreal Drawings
Surreal drawings are another imagination-builder. Start off with an everyday object—clip pictures from recycled magazines or print images from the internet. Challenge your child to transform that object into something new by drawing. Characters are an easy place to begin—a carrot turns into a basketball player, an egg beater becomes a charming friend.

Coloring Book 8

Pokemon Go Unplugged
When it’s time to unplug and disconnect, your kids can still burn off their Pokemon Go steam with a little old-fashioned drawing. Have everyone in the family invent and draw their own Pokemon Go character and hide it somewhere in the house or yard. Call “ready, set, go” and race to see who can collect the most characters.

For more great drawing ideas, check out these links:

Fun drawing games at The Artful Parent

All kinds of drawing prompts from TinkerLab

Drawing game using household objects from Craftwhack

And ten more drawing games from Craftwhack

Happy coloring!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs

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