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.
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.
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?
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.
Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)
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.
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.
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
Life is strange and wonderful. Me , DP , DS (3/09) , 3 and 4
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).
Mom to DS born 6/09 and DS2 born 6/12
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.
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.
Monkey (30) + Pirate (28) = a forever family (5/10) - Baby Bird (8/12), our long-awaited first, one (9/13 @ 7w 6d), and Baby Yummy (10/6/14)
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.
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)
*CPST* mama to my three year old DS1 1.31.09 and wedded to angel 8.07
DS 2 8/18/12!!
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.
Mama to three
At 2 years old my son was still eating the crayons 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.
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.
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!
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!
Mother of two great little guys, G (9/28/09) and W (1/20/12)
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!!! 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.
I heard you! :-)
I took away her coloring books and gave her some plain paper books and she is scribbling away. I think we both are happy now. The coloring books put too much pressure on her and I think she could sense my puzzlement.
Thank you guys.
My mother teaches preschool and runs a home based bussiness (a true preschool not a daycare) so Ive seen 30 years of drawing and coloring from incomming 2.5 year olds (older than your DC) to ready for kindergarden 5 year olds..
What you describe is TOTALY normal. Coloring is hard and its a more "advanced" thing in the motor skills it takes. I agree with those that suggest ditchiong the coloring for plain paper and jsut letting her draw scribble ect.. Also give her diffrent medium and ways to draw playdoh finger paint paper on easels on the floor brishes sponges ect you'll be shocked how much she will progress as she matures.. Its a really fun journey.. And if sehs likes coloring books that is fineas well jsut don't worry about scribbles lines etc.
i personally dislike coloring books & hope to never have them around... sorry, no help here. i wouldn't worry, though. maybe your kid doesn't like them either?
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
When I was working in a preschool aged room in a day care we weren't allowed to give pictures for the LO's to color (this was an age 3-5 classroom) - only plain paper, because it was thought to encourage more creativity.
My DS is not as old as your LO; he's just 21 months. He will flip over pages to find blank space to color. He doesn't like pre-drawn pictures at all! Even with sidewalk chalk he will fill up one "square" of sidewalk and run to find an un-colored in area. I wouldn't be concerned really. Coloring inside the lines is over-rated ;)
I think there are likely more and better ways to encourage fine motor skills than coloring pictures.
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011- married to Wayne -  and now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13
My son had no interest in drawing or coloring AT ALL until he was 51/2. He would, under duress, perhaps draw a picture for someone's birthday and it was always cursory and he didn't like the process at all. Now, at 71/2 he draws up a storm, but has never colored in a coloring book. He doesn't see the point.
My daughter (4) has loved to draw from the time she could hold a crayon (mostly scribbling until recently) and ADORES coloring. She loves to fill in the shapes with her favorite colors (usually bearing little relation to reality). I worried that coloring books might stifle her creativity (my mother is an early childhood expert and I was never allowed coloring books) , but she loves them and does lots of more free-form art as well. She is just a kid who likes working with her art supplies. I've decided that she can do both without it ruining her artistic experience.
Kids are different...give them art supplies and time to create and eventually, they probably will.
::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl
I think there are likely more and better ways to encourage fine motor skills than coloring pictures.
lots. rice and bean play is great allow them to pick up things with tweezers play with eye droppers ect.. Stringing things lacing cards ect are great fine motar skills. play dolls with zippers buttons and snaps, picticking up and handling coins or play money, free hand art and free coloring using "tools" such as screwing and unscrewing ,sissors, atempting lock and keys even simpily turing the pages in a favorite book.. All promote and practice fine motar skills and will improve writing.
I was going to add my "that's normal" to the replies, but saw your update. By the way, my ds1 never has had interest in coloring. He was actually advanced with writing and fine motor, but give him a page to color and he basically ignored it - even now at 6yo he tends to experiment with mixing colors and ways to use the crayons, not coloring the picture. DS2 loves to color, so much more "typical" but funny to me!