Monday, January 23, 2012

Coloring Inside the Lines

Do you ever struggle with teaching a child how to stay within the lines when coloring? Coloring inside the lines can be a tough skill to teach, especially if the child has visual motor or perceptual challenges. One technique that I've found to be helpful is to provide a tactile "cue". Just take some clear Elmer's glue or a hot glue gun and outline the edges of the picture. This provides a nice tactile "ridge" that the crayon will "bump" against when the child is coloring.  I've found that it is also helpful to glue the coloring picture to a poster board to keep the child from ripping the paper while coloring.

I also like to teach the child how to color in small circular strokes rather than using large back and forth strokes, as this gives them more control. First I demonstrate how to do this, then I move them through the motions with "hand-over-hand" guidance, then I let them give it a try with verbal and gestural prompts. This takes a lot of practice, but they eventually get it!


  1. Great idea! I do a similar activity using Wikki Stix, but sometimes they slide around. Fabric paint works well too!

  2. I love the circular motion in big spaces, left/right or up/down in narrow spaces etc. My 5 year old son's teacher expects him to colour inside the lines without any guidance on HOW to do it properly. This is frustrating for both of us so any further tips would be much appreciated, thanks