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Discuss coloring pictures with me please.

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

My DD is 27 mos and cannot color pictures. She is otherwise a very smart girl and pretty advanced for her age verbally and quite on mark physically. But whenever she tries to color a picture - she just draws a few squigglies and stops or just draws something rough and keeps asking me to color.


She loses patience easily and barely draws a couple of lines around a picture before she moves on to the next. She is always asking to color the pictures and sometimes I get very frustrated that she doesn't even want to try. My sister told me that my niece was coloring her pictures by 2 yrs old. I know every baby develops differently and trust me I am not competing but I wonder if I should be teaching her differently or just let her explore......or what is normal in terms of coloring inside pictures. She seems waaay off.


Not overly worried - just a momma wondering....is all. Please help with perspectives.

post #2 of 30

Perfectly normal for that age. My son just turned 3, and his coloring has evolved to at least coloring somewhat inside or in the vicinity of the 'lines/drawing'  as compared to all over the page arbitrarily. Most kids don't really get into 'coloring inside the lines' until age 4-5.

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you. A few more replies for perspective please. My niece is 7 yrs old now. Could my sister be misremembering? Or can babies really start coloring well by 2 yrs old. That seems a tad bit too advanced - just looking at "apples to apples". And my niece is otherwise a very normal child too. Or maybe I mean "just your average 7 yr old". Maybe she is gifted - drawing-wise?

post #4 of 30

Funny this question should come up.  I was just at a library story time this morning with 3-4 year olds and the colouring from the children was really varied.  Even just between my two who are twins it was quite different.  They are just over 3 and while my dd has some sense that she should colour within the lines (she chooses different colours for different objects on the paper but is nowhere near keeping inside the lines) my ds just randomly scribbles all over the page in a multitude of colours.  


My oldest ds (almost 9 now) rarely coloured pictures and even now if he colours he gets very upset if he goes outside the lines.  He is a bit of a perfectionist so he is hesitant to engage in activities where any flaws might be spotted.  But my older dd (6-1/2 now) has always been crafty and loves to colour and draw pictures.  It can vary so much from child to child it really is not going to do much use comparing.  


At 2 years of age I'm pretty sure my dc's were not colouring pictures and staying within the lines.  It was just random scribbling.  

post #5 of 30

My 30 month old loves "drawing", and will tell you very detailed stories about all the different animals and boats and vehicles in his picture and what every one of them is doing.  From my perspective, every one of these lovely whales and backhoes and loons and clams is just a scribble.  We don't have any coloring books, but I highly doubt he could color accurately in one right now. 

post #6 of 30
DS is 2.5. While he can draw recognizable things (animals, objects, people), with coloring, he really just scribbles on top of the objects -- doesn't stay in the lines or choose different colors or anything. He hasn't had much practice though, he rarely attempts to color, usually prefers to draw on blank paper.

I have seen lots of kids ages 1-4 coloring, but I don't notice any of them coloring in the lines or really doing much besides messy scribbles. I always thought 'real' coloring was more of a 4-5yo skill.
post #7 of 30

DS is 29 months and just this past month has he even cared at all about coloring.  Mostly he would rather scribble on a blank page - usually all in one color and then he wants another piece of paper.  If I ask him, he can draw a circle, but he won't always comply.  There is nothing controlled or discernable about it at all, and he is a very bright boy.  If I give him a picture to color, he will scribble all over, and then occasionally choose a color for an entire character and scribble that color in the general vicinity of the object.  The funny thing is that he even tells me he is scribbling "Mom, I'm scribbling black back and forth all over!"


Your DD sounds perfect orngbiggrin.gif

post #8 of 30

My DS is 27 months also, and he just scribbles all over the coloring page with one color. I have seen the artwork on the walls of my DS's daycare room (ages from 18 months to just shy of 3 years old) and none of them are really coloring inside the lines. My niece is 4.5, and she can color between the lines, and uses different colors for diffrent parts of the picture (like brown for tree trunks and green for the leaves).

post #9 of 30

Normal. Most 2 years cannot make more than a scribble design. At 3 or 3.5 some kids get more control. If you are talking about coloring books i.e. coloring within lines or selecting colors that is even older.


Coloring books aren't skill building and some experts think that they are developmentally inappropriate for young kids... I would just buy some paper and some good quality crayons and thick colored pencils.

post #10 of 30

I've done day camp with 4- and 5-year-olds for the past three years, and some of them STILL don't do more than scribble, so I'd say it's perfectly normal. I would guesstimate 60% of 4- and 5-year-olds at my camp were okay or better on coloring between lines, or drawing something clearly discernible. Maybe 70%. So if they haven't mastered it, I definitely wouldn't worry about a 27-month-old mastering it. As a 27-YEAR-old who has extremely limited drawing skills, I'd also say that it just may not be a talent for your child. Or it may be a talent she will simply develop later.

post #11 of 30

Scribbling is an important precursor to writing.

They have their whole lives to color inside the lines.  

I'm still dreading the day DS decides that pink is for girls.  Right now it's for making flamingos.

post #12 of 30

I vote for giving her plain paper and forgoing coloring :) 

post #13 of 30

Oh, yeah, seriously depends on the kid. My 4yo only started doing more than just scribbles at about 3.5 years old. But my 2.5 year old LOVES coloring and spends a lot of time doing it and appears ahead of where my 4yo was at his age, but still only colors a little patch on a page. My niece on the other hand (who is now 6) used to draw elaborate pictures at 2 - but now it is obvious she is artistically blessed.

post #14 of 30
DS is 30 months. With a pen or crayon he will scribble all over the page . If it is a coloring page he will scribble all over the object, fairly well within the lines of that object, but just scribbles.

With paint, though, he paints things. He painted a "guy" with a body, head, arms and legs. I don't know what the difference would be between paints and markers/crayons etc, but you could try out various media to see what she likes best.

I try to stay away from coloring pages and just let him go nuts on a blank canvas (paper, sliding glass door and waterbased paint, white board, whatever)
post #15 of 30

I didn't read all the responses, but I'll chime in too.  My son is almost 3.5, sometime in the last couple months he started drawing circles.  All of his pictures are still scribbles.  He will sometimes attempt to color in the lines, but it is rare.  I feel like he should be writing out his name at this point.  He has been able to spell it for quite sometime, he knows all his letters, and he spells using the keyboard or the refrigerator magnets.  I think his coordination is just not there yet.

post #16 of 30

At 2 years old my son was still eating the crayons orngtongue.gif He's 29 months old now, and has made a huge leap with his coloring abilities just in the past month.  Now he'll actually draw a shaped object and label it ("this is a fishy") even if it doesn't really look like what he says it is, he's definitely getting there.  As far as coloring in the lines, I don't really give him coloring pages very much, so I don't know.  But I would say what you're describing is completely normal, and it is also very possible that a 2 year old had more advanced coloring abilities like your sister is describing.

post #17 of 30

This is hilarious.  Exactly what my DD does at 26 months.  You can see she just pretty much makes a single scribble that touches all of the subjects on the coloring page and then wants another sheet.  As for scribbling on blank paper, chalkboard, or wipe board, she makes vertical and horizontal lines, circles and spirals, and sometimes just random squiggles which she assigns a subject.  i.e. "that's a banana. nom nom nom."  "that's a happy face" "that's a turtle"  In general, she's just not interested in scribbling, which I have to admit, is a bit disappointing for me.

post #18 of 30

We were at a nature class at a local park this weekend and they had a coloring sheet.  DD really wanted to do it.  She picked some markers and got a sheet and sat down and did it.  For the first time, I saw her color in the lines.  In fact, I kept asking her "why did you color it that way?" and "where did you learn to color in the lines?"  As recently as a month ago when she last encountered a coloring sheet she just made a picture over the black outlines and paid attention to colors-- not lines.  All of the coloring she does at home and at school is just crayons or markers on plain paper so she can just enjoy colors, textures and let her imagination go. 


For context, I should mention that DD is 39 months and advanced with fine motor skills, cognition and verbal. 


I think that coloring in the lines is something that is taught (either intentionally or not) and not a natural skill.  Having the fine motor control is necessary for doing it and the cognitive ability to follow instructions is also important.  So a kid with good motor control could be couched into coloring in the lines early.  But, that same kid might not give it a try for a long time without the coaching.  Regardless, your DD does not seem to be behind! 

post #19 of 30

My son's almost two and like your little one, a bit ahead in some respects and totally normal in others.  (And maybe a little behind in one or two physical things... the guy still can't jump.  Oh well.)  He can draw a circle (to his great delight) and that's it.  Give him a page from a coloring book or draw the outline of something for him, and he will happily scribble right over it.  NOWHERE near in the lines.  He just likes to scribble. 


At 2 and a quarter, I personally would really try not to worry about it!

post #20 of 30
Originally Posted by coldandsleepy View Post

My son's almost two and like your little one, a bit ahead in some respects and totally normal in others.  (And maybe a little behind in one or two physical things... the guy still can't jump.  Oh well.)

Aww my 2.5yo just learned to really jump recently!!! Funny because he is kind of ahead in many areas (fine motor/language/etc.) but has some social/emotional delays, so I was a bit worried about the jumping. It was awesome to see him learn how to do it and I was so excited for him!!! smile.gif I thought he was the only 2yo who couldn't jump. Logically I knew he'd learn to jump eventually but it was one of those things I just needed to see to believe I guess. bouncy.gif
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