Magical Mystery Pictures: Coloring With Your Preschooler

After years of getting relegated to the sidelines, coloring has gained huge popularity in the last few years and rightfully so. Today, adult coloring books get sold at supermarket checkouts, middle schools have coloring clubs, and occupational therapists encourage all kids to color, not just those with special needs. We now see experimenting with crayons as a wholly positive experience – helping us relax, enhancing our fine motor skills, and stimulating our creativity.

As a preschool and kindergarten teacher, I've always known the benefits of coloring and got concerned when it became marginalized. With our country's push for academic rigor, higher test scores, and technological prowess, coloring got seen as old-fashioned and a waste of time. Fortunately, parents and teachers are now recognizing its value once again. They realize coloring is crucial for developing other fine motor skills such as writing, cutting with scissors, stringing beads, and tying shoelaces.

While coloring books are good, there are many more creative ways to use crayons. Making Magical Mystery Pictures was one of my favorite activities to do with my sons when they were preschoolers. It was so easy but brought them so much joy. We'd often do it in the afternoons as a relaxing prelude to nap time or in the evenings before taking a bath. Enjoy!

1. Get a white piece of construction paper and a white crayon. Without your child watching, draw a picture on the paper with the white crayon. Press hard. For my sample, I drew a crescent moon and some stars.

2.Grab some paint, water, and a brush. I chose black paint for my picture. Mix the water and paint. Cover the surface with newspaper. Then have your child paint over your crayon drawing.

3. Your child will get so excited when the picture magically appears!

Every youngster needs a high-quality art kit and this one fits the bill. It includes 140 pieces: crayons, pencils, markers, and paper. With its sturdy handle, your child can take it anywhere: outside to get inspired by nature, in the car during a long drive, to Grandma's house for an overnight. Give your youngster a gift that will inspire her for years to come!

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