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While Coloring or Drawing Together

Young children often enjoy coloring or scribbling on paper.  Providing a large piece of blank paper, writing utensils, and sharing time coloring together is a wonderful activity for language and communication development.  Try some of the following ideas.

  1. Give your child a crayon, marker, or chalk and just watch as they scribble.  Talk about what your child is creating as the lines are drawn.  For example, Oh, you're making circles.  Big circles.  They look like bubbles! Some literature indicates that you shouldn't label the pictures children make, such as 'bubbles'. Personally I have found no real negative ramifications from labeling in such manner as it looks like . . .  If I've said the incorrect label, a child will often correct me - thus furthering language and communication use.
  2. Talk about the colors.  Red.  What a bright red box.
  3. Hang a large piece of paper on the wall and draw there.
  4. Put the paper on the floor – draw there.
  5. Draw in the sand, dirt and mud outside.
  6. Draw on paper placemats in restaurants or if it's a real child friendly restaurant it'll have paper table clothes to encourage drawing!  Passes the time waiting for food!
  7. Follow your child's lead around the paper.  When he draws circles, you draw circles. Say, round, and round and round we go!
  8. Draw lines up and down and say up and down and up and down!
  9. Draw lines back and forth and say back and forth and back and forth
  10. Provide the words for the moves.  If you make dots, say dot-dot-dot-dot. Or spot-spot-spot-spot.
  11. Follow right behind your child's crayon.  As she moves up, you move up.  You may even want to try to become invasive and push her crayon along to see what kind of reaction you get.
  12. Try placing something under the paper that will affect the drawing – make it lumpy.  Comment on what happens, Oh, look!  There are bumps on the paper.
  13. Occasionally draw an animal or object familiar to your child.  Then lead his crayon over to where the picture is.  Hey, look!  It's a bunny!  Hop-hop-hop!
  14. If your child is interested in letters, randomly draw letters around the paper and label them or have her label them.  The same with numbers.
  15. Draw a circle or within a circle your child has drawn. Make a face.  Leave a body part out and wait to see if he will label that part.  You may need to directly ask, what goes here? or what's missing?
  16. Draw an animal and ask, What does ____ say?
  17. Draw a house and have your child label parts to the house.  Draw another familiar object and label the parts.
  18. Draw pictures for a short story.  For example, make a snowman on the paper, but have your child tell you what to put on next.
  19. Just draw squiggly lines or have your child draw the squiggly lines and talk about what you might see in the picture.  Oh look.  I see a giraffe eating leaves on a tree.  See it right there?
  20. Pretend to be cars, or better yet, take small cars, dip them in paint, and drive them over the paper, creating a picture!  Talk about what you're doing! Marbles dipped in paint then placed inside a shoe box lined with paper makes wonderful fireworks!

Be sure to hang the creation for display!           Most of all, HAVE FUN TOGETHER!

© Kate Ross, MS, CCC-SLP  (2011)

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