Obviously, coloring is fun all on its own. There’s nothing wrong with simply placing your favorite pictures on the table with some markers, colored pencils, or gel pens and coloring the night away. However, here are some ideas you can use to take your coloring experience up a notch and get the whole family involved.
1. Have a Family Art Show
One of the best ways to encourage your children to love art is to proudly display their work. Although the refrigerator still remains the most popular place to showcase a child’s colored pictures, there’s a better solution that can be used to display artwork from the entire family.
Purchase several large artwork display frames, one for each member of your family. Arrange the frames in a gallery formation on a spare wall in your home. Every time you color together, have each person sign and date their finished picture. Add the customized works of art to the frames, arranging them with the youngest person’s picture at the beginning and the oldest person’s picture at the end. If desired, you can add the pictures from the previous week into binders for each person. Over time, you’ll have a special keepsake that demonstrates how every member of the family has grown as an artist!
To add an extra element of fun to your family art show, make certificates that you can give to each participant. These awards should reward effort, respecting that each child is creative in their own unique way. Possible awards could be:
- Best use of the color blue
- Best use of blending
- Best mixed media art
- Most creative background design
- Most imaginative color selections
- Most unique pattern
- Most relaxing color palette
2. Make Coloring a Game
Turn your coloring experience into a party game by giving everyone an artistic challenge to complete. Write your challenges on slips of paper, fold them up, and stick them in a bowl. Take turns letting family members choose a challenge for the group to complete.
Here are some ideas:
- Use at least four shades of green in your picture.
- Color a picture using your favorite color and your least favorite color.
- Let the person to your right choose the colors you use in your picture.
- Choose unexpected colors that aren’t found in nature. Make a purple owl, a pink dog, or a blue cat!
- Go outside the lines and doodle your own additions to a picture. Draw a hat on a picture of a dog, add sunglasses on a picture of a princess, or use your best handwriting to add a quote to the bottom of a mandala.
If you don’t want to use your more expensive coloring pages for these challenges, try one of the printables in our Free Coloring Pages Category.
3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Coloring can be more than just a way to encourage your kids to be creative. It can also be an activity used to demonstrate the importance of being kind to others.
Pick up several different sets of note cards that you can color, such as the set of Secret Garden note cards by Johanna Basford or the Don’t Quit Your Daydream inspirational postcards by Bethany Robertson. Color the designs together as a family, then write messages to send to those in need of your positive thoughts.
For example, you could write notes to the brave men and women in the United States military who are currently serving overseas. If you don’t know a soldier personally, A Million Thanks is a nonprofit organization that sends letters to troops stationed around the world as a way to boost their spirits and ease their homesickness. You can mail your family’s contributions to this project to:
A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd.
Villa Park, CA 92861
Alternatively, you can write letters to women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. Girls Love Mail is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Gina L. Mulligan after she realized how much receiving mail helped her feel less alone during her own cancer treatment. You can mail your family’s letters for this project to:
Gina L. Mulligan
Girls Love Mail
193 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 120
Folsom, CA 95630
The letters sent to Girls Love Mail are distributed through cancer centers, doctor’s offices, and special programs for patients. The letters are sent to recipients in a special envelope with the Girls Love Mail logo, so the organization asks that your contributions be able to fit in an envelope that measures 4.75” x 6.5″. (They can be folded if necessary.)
[Photo above is a colored note card from Don’t Quit Your Daydream inspirational postcards by Bethany Robertson.]