Using a Coloring Book for Learning Activities

LittleMan has kind of a weird quirk with coloring books. Most children I know will look for a page they like, color it, look for another page they like, color it and when they are done there may be 5-10 pages colored and they are content to move on to a different activity leaving the rest of the pages for another day. LittleMan starts on page one then moves to page two, then page three and so on coloring in EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. refusing to do anything else until the entire book has been finished. His reaction when offered a coloring book is almost obsessive. For this reason, we have had to limit his access to coloring books, which is something we never wanted to have to do.

On the plus side, there are many ways to make garden variety coloring books into an educational activity. Here are some of the ways we utilized a dinosaur coloring book from Dollar Tree in our homeschool classroom:

Using a Coloring Book for Sight Word Practice from Suzy Homeschooler (1)
Color by rhyming words: write each word in a different color at the top of the page as a key, then use black to write the various words onto the picture.

Using a Coloring Book for Sight Word Practice from Suzy Homeschooler (2)
Color by color sight words: write the colors of the rainbow at the top of the page in the color that they are (ie, use a red marker to write “red,” use a orange marker to write “orange”) as a key then use a black marker to write the various words onto the picture.
*Children with a more solid grasp of color sight words won’t need a key for this activity.

Using a Coloring Book for Sight Word Practice from Suzy Homeschooler (3)
Color by numbers: write out numbers (one, two, three) in various colors at the top of the page as a key then use black to write the number (1, 2, 3) onto the picture.

Using Coloring Books to Review Math Facts from Suzy Homeschooler
Color by math facts: write numbers in various colors at the top of the page as a key then use black to write basic addition problems (which can be answered by the numbers in the key) onto the picture.

By modifying a coloring book this way, we were able to cover almost all of LittleMan’s schoolwork for the day without him even realizing it.

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