If you’re like us, your kids go through some paper. They’re colouring pages and crafting and glueing and sticking and cutting and, as much as we love getting hand-crafted envelopes of love notes, we end up with a whole lot of colouring books and not enough to colour.
So, we turn to apps that let us keep loads of different drawings ready to roll, wipe clean and redo. While we discussed which apps were best for colouring, we started wondering if the pictures we’re getting home are right for our kids’ ages. Are they hitting their colouring milestones? Three glasses of wine, a few of our own colouring pages and a ‘they’re all different’ discussion later and we realised we actually weren’t sure what those milestones were so (cue the mom guilt) how could we possibly know how to best help them.
Let’s start with the colouring basics.
When can kids start using crayons?
This depends on how brave you are as, often, the crayons do not colour pages alone. Ask any parent and they’ll likely be able to share a tale of a piece of furniture or clothing that has been ‘decorated’ with love.
The pincer grip is usually needed for crayons, if they’re to be more than a chew toy (please watch out for this), so you could aim for 12-15 months.
At what age should kids know their colours?
Kids should know their colours by 18 months old so, between this age and about 2 and a half would be a good time to emphasise lessons on all things colour-related. That’s according to Teach My Toddler. Whether or not the colours are able to be pronounced properly is a whole different kettle of fish, says one mum with a 4.5-year old that cannot master the L’s of yellow.
What shapes should my child be able to draw?
From 18-24 months, it’s more about the identification of shapes, says the internet. This means being able to pair together similar shapes, but not necessarily recognise the properties of a shape. It’s only by about 30 months that fundamental forms can usually be identified. By 3 years old, basic shapes may start being produced by your kids.
Should my child still be colouring outside the lines?
Fine motor skills, spatial awareness, experimentation and learning, exploration of new topics, self-control and confidence, social awareness – these developments are all linked to a big milestone in a way. Which milestone? Colouring inside the lines. Between 3 and 5 years old, it suddenly clicks for little ones and the pictures we are lovingly gifted seem to change.
Best colouring apps for kids
With over 143,000 ratings, this app seems to be a go-to for kids over the age of 2, on an ipad:
Want more apps? Take a look at this article on the best apps for online games we’ve found for kids.
Tell us about your colouring page adventures
This certainly warrants discussion – in the comments or on social media – because we’re dying to hear your tricks and tips here. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of colouring resources we found online.
Adult colouring books
Looking for something for yourself? Take a look at these adult colouring books to help you let off a little steam.
P.S. Remember, we’re not experts. If you are an expert and would like to weigh in, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.