Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10) 7 Creative Coloring Books for Kids

There is often a debate amongst parents and teachers about coloring books. Some people love them and some people hate them. While I do think there is some validity to those arguments against coloring books, I have to say I personally love them. Even the cheap character ones have some good qualities. While I am all about "coloring outside the lines" I think there is something to be said for coloring inside of them. I often think of coloring books like a warm-up. A place for kids to get their creative juices flowing. Coloring books let kids just color to color, to enjoy the act of putting crayons, marker or colored pencil to paper. They are a great way for kids to experiment with different techniques, without the fear of messing up their own artwork. Coloring books also force kids to observe. They have to look at what they are coloring and it is often then that kids start to notice how shapes work together to form an image or the relationship of proportion between objects. Here are 6 of my favorite coloring books to spark a little creativity:

1) Rosie Flo's Coloring Book by Roz Streeten- There are 12 books in the Rosie Flo series, each one features beautifully drawn pages, often of clothing, that allow kids to finish and color the design in their own way. The books are designed by Roz Streeten who started the line after hours of drawing dresses for her own daughters!

2) Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring and Doodling Book By Taro Gami- Doodles is actually just one of several kids coloring books by Taro Gami. Each book is filled with simple black line drawings that encourage kids to use their imaginations to finish the rest of the page.

3) I Absolutely Must Do Coloring Now or Painting or Drawing By Lauren Child- If you love Charlie and Lola, and we love Charlie and Lola at our house, then this is a perfect book for you. Each page features Charlie and Lola off on an adventure but leaves plenty of space for the reader to add their own imaginative drawings and paintings.

4) The Coloring Book By Herve Tullet- Tullet, is a French author/illustrator of a series of very creative books for kids. Every book including Press Here (another one of our favorites) encourages the kids to interact with the book in a creative thought provoking way. The Coloring Book, is all drawn in Black and White and encourages the child to use color in different ways to finish the pages.

5) The Anti-Coloring Book By Susan Striker and Edward Kimmel- At this point there are many, many books in the Anti-coloring book series. Striker has been making them since the late 1970's.  While these books are geared to children a little older, like 6-12, even little ones could enjoy these books with a little help. Each page asks the reader to do something different like design a wrapper for their own gum, or pack for a trip to the moon.

6) Let's Make Some Great Art By Marion Deuchars- We just recently got this book and I love it! It is like a time travel through all kinds of art periods, styles and mediums. Each page is filled with activities that could be completed by a kid, an adult or a kid and adult together!

7) Make Your Own Coloring Book- For The Bee's 2nd birthday we had a coloring themed party and I made a Bee inspired coloring book as the favor. I spent a few nights drawing interesting patterns on paper and then tracing over the designs with black sharpie. I then photocopied the pages and assembled them with some crayons for everyone at the party. Now that the Bee is getting a little older I have been thinking about having her design her own!

1 comment:

  1. Well, I'm not alone in using coloring books as a sometimes activity and still encourage kids to draw even when they color in them!

    I used to be one of the kids who both colored in coloring books and drew in them. My creativity was very largely left unscathed! To quote my own article (http://talfonso.hubpages.com/hub/prosconscoloringbooks), "Though there are some people who think that coloring books are bad as there are some others who believe that they are good materials for children, some others think there's simply a time and place for them."

    I have recently seen pictures on the Web of coloring book pages colored in by teens and college kids in very creative ways. They colored some sections of pictures the color besides what the book tells them to do, add their own details to the picture, and/or add some creative captions and/or dialogue. My favorite one is the page in which the person drew and colored details and wrote captions on the picture of the Incredible Hulk to show people that he is late for work.

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