We recently discovered toddler coloring books in our household and they are absolutely amazing. Initially, I was hesitant to buy them because I wasn’t sure if my toddler was too young. She was 19 months old at the time.
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My toddler does a lot of painting and coloring at daycare, so I don’t know why I didn’t think to purchase a coloring book for her sooner. Toddler coloring books were right down her alley!
As soon as I gave my toddler the coloring book and crayons, she knew exactly what to do with it. These toddlers know way more than we give them credit for. It was all very matter-of-fact for her.
This article is about all the reasons why toddler coloring books are amazing, in my humble opinion.
1. Encourages independent play
As a mom who is teleworking full-time, I sometimes work at home while caring for my toddler. This can definitely be a juggling act and I’m constantly looking for toddler activities that will pique my daughter’s interest for more than a few minutes.
Coloring is one of those activities that encourage independent play for my toddler. When she is focused on coloring and turning pages in her toddler coloring books, she doesn’t need mommy’s attention every five minutes.
- Related reading: Summer activities that are fun and exciting for toddlers
2. Promotes fine motor skills
Although coloring may seem like second nature for adults, it requires a great deal of manual dexterity for a toddler.
It’s a learned skill for a toddler’s hands to grasp a crayon, apply pressure, and maneuver it on the paper. This requires a pincer grasp and hand-eye coordination.
A toddler under two isn’t necessarily coloring within the lines. At least my toddler isn’t. A lot of it looks like scribbling but that doesn’t mean those fine motor skills aren’t steadily increasing.
Recently, my daughter’s daycare teacher commented on her coloring skills. She told me that my toddler was doing great with coloring and saw noticeable improvement. This made me so proud! I definitely credit all the extra coloring she’s doing at home.
3. Increases knowledge of colors
My toddler doesn’t know the full spectrum of colors yet but coloring with bright crayons exposes her to the concept of colors.
Sometimes she’ll hold up a crayon and guess at the color. If she’s correct, I’ll affirm her. If incorrect, I’ll gently let her know the correct color. It’s a learning process.
In addition to increasing knowledge of colors, you can purchase toddler coloring books that feature the alphabet, first words, shapes, and numbers. These can help your toddler learn new concepts.
Check out these coloring books on Amazon.
4. Coloring is budget-friendly
As a budget-friendly parent, this is the best reason why toddler coloring books are amazing. Most of these coloring books, even ones with a lot of pages, are under $10.
Every once in a while, I’ll stumble upon a Buy 2, Get 1 Free book sale at Target or Amazon, which makes toddler coloring books even more affordable.
Recently, I went into the dollar store for some random items and found a bunch of children’s coloring books, for $1!
Crayons are also super budget-friendly at a couple of bucks per box. I haven’t let my toddler use colored pencils or colored markers yet. Crayons just seem safer and more toddler-friendly to me.
Check out toddler coloring books under $10 at Amazon.
5. Stimulates creative thinking skills
I can only imagine what goes through my toddler’s head when she chooses a particular crayon to color. It requires some level of critical thinking on her part. She definitely has a choice of many colors and can also choose the page she colors.
This freedom to choose can take her down many paths, thus reinforcing creative thinking.
Often, she ignores the pictures in her coloring books and starts doodling on the empty spaces. All of those toddler creative sparks are flying!
6. Benefits self-esteem and confidence
Coloring benefits my toddler’s self-esteem and confidence in a few ways. When she colors, she can be proud of her artwork and creation.
Her coloring book is kind of like her own diary. It’s something that is all her own and she knows that.
I sometimes color with her in my own adult coloring book and she can draw the distinction between mommy’s color book and her own.
The fact that she can do an activity like mommy and daddy instills confidence and self-esteem in her. She can be confident in the knowledge that she is capable of doing many things.
When she’s at daycare, coloring with other toddlers gives her the ability to participate, interact, and be part of a community.
What to do with used coloring books?
We are now at a point where my toddler has completely filled one coloring book and is diligently working on another one.
Should I throw it away? How can I possibly repurpose an old coloring book?
I don’t think I want to throw it away. Her first used coloring book is definitely a sweet memory. I might save a few and compare the coloring progression down the road.
Since I’m not naturally an arts and crafts type of person, I couldn’t think of any genius tips to dispose of used coloring books. Instead, I found a pretty cool coloring blog with an article on 29 creative ways to repurpose coloring pages.
I thought that was pretty neat.
Is coloring safe for my toddler?
Generally, crayons are non-toxic but may cause an upset stomach if swallowed. It could also pose a choking hazard to younger toddlers.
Initially, I did supervise my toddler because she was all about breaking crayons and taste-testing them. She was at an age where she knew it was not food but that didn’t stop her from occasionally putting a crayon in her mouth.
Now that she’s closer to two, I don’t see that behavior anymore. I’m seeing more of her coloring on her toys or her board books if left unattended for too long. When this happens, I’ll try to redirect her to color in her coloring books only.
Final thoughts on toddler coloring books
There are so many great things about coloring. My toddler’s coloring activities have even inspired me to start coloring too.
I haven’t colored enough to know whether or not it reduces my stress like people say it does but it is really cool to create something.
Another coloring activity that I want to try with my toddler is water coloring. When did water coloring become a thing?! To me, that seems like a fun, perfect, summer activity.
I foresee coloring as being part of our lives for years to come and I’m not mad at it. What excites you about toddler coloring activities?