1. Try a different drawing medium!
2. Try coloring on 3D objects!
For some kids, the extra dimension and coloring on various planes makes all the difference. It is more enticing than a flat “boring” piece of paper! And it doesn’t have to be expensive either! You can find wooden rolling cars and the Dollar Tree, rolling pins at the thrift store, wooden blocks are easy to make at home or buy in bulk, etc.
We have a lot of salt dough activities which I find kids are more willing to color on! Try our funny salt dough faces, salt dough snakes, our flower in my pocket, or these 20+ salt dough ideas. The great thing about salt dough is that is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP and can be stored for YEARS! Spend one day creating salt dough shapes and you can use them for many years to come.
3. Try crafted art projects that are useful.
Color things that you can hang on your fridge – such as magnets. An art project that has a purpose besides just biding time like coloring sheets. Your child may not see the point in coloring on a paper that will be thrown away.
4. Hang a string to display artwork, or have a special designated from for it.
Similar to the situation above, your child may not be interested in art because it’s just something to do that will be thrown away. If you display their artwork it may help instill a sense of pride. Or perhaps they’ll be interested in rotating out artwork which will encourage them to color you a new piece to hang!
5. Try crayon activities that aren’t JUST coloring.
For example, have them color a picture, and then with your help have them iron it on to something else. Take their coloring one step further. If you’re in a classroom setting maybe run their artwork through a laminator and punch a hole in it to hang.
Or color a lot of colors on a piece of paper, then color over it with a black crayon and scratch of the crayon to make new designs. It will add an additional “secretive” element to their artwork.
6. Try watercolor paint books for kids who hate to color.
It’s not coloring, but it’s more interesting and will keep kids in one spot longer. It’s also a great positive behavior support reward as well as awesome for working on fine motor skills!
7. Create a specific REASON for coloring.
I find that if I instill a specific reason for coloring my kids that hate coloring will be more likely to help. Things like creating a picture for your school janitor, design cards for grandparents, adding a theme to your room – these give a purpose to their artwork that just might do the trick into enticing them to participate.
8. Invisible Ink sets are AWESOME!
Although this can add up if you’re not careful, I could usually “trick” my kids into coloring with sets like Imagine Ink, Color Wonder, etc. Although I tried to reserve these for special times (doctor visits, road trips, etc) due to budgeting, they are a VERY popular choice! The Melissa and Doug Water Wow series is GREAT for adding an additional sensory component that is largely mess free.
9. Color your own frame!
Have a reason for coloring. Color a picture for a specific person, or for a specific decoration. This goes back to creating a purpose for that child to work towards. You can buy wooden frames for $1 at the craft store and have your child design their own frame. OR to modify a larger existing frame just glue wooden rulers or paint stirring sticks onto it and let them color.
10. Don’t push it! Don’t force them to color.
You want to look for creative ways to encourage your child to color without forcing them. Take the power play struggle out of the situation and try new angles for creatively enticing your child into the art process. The above ideas should help you flush out some new interest in art. In the summer take them outside to paint instead!
Everyone, even adults, have a different preference in their art experience. Just because your child hates to color doesn’t mean they should be allowed to run wild and free during preschool art times. It just means you may need to think outside the box a little to find something quiet and engaging for them.