Keeping the kids busy on a rainy or wintry afternoon can be a
challenge. Why not try letting them do a coloring page … or better
yet, how about twenty?
But for some parents, there’s a bit of an ‘ick’ factor to coloring
books and most free online coloring pages. They are always “branded” in
some way. Girls coloring books are Barbie and Disney Princesses. Boys
seem limited to Spider-Man and Star Wars.
Wouldn’t it be nice to try a commercial-free activity for once? Well,
these websites offer plenty of coloring pages that are
product-placement free and guaranteed to get the imaginative juices
Here are a few sites that offer non-commercial coloring pages for your kids:
— This kids news site from Pennsylvania offers more than 50 printable
pages organized by themes including pirates, fantasy and even regular
people. Some even include ideas for additional creative fun.
— While this page has plenty of advertisements, the coloring pages
themselves are commercial free when you print them out. While not
entirely commercial-character free, it has a very specific category for
— Jan Brett is a well-known children’s book artist, and she provides
dozens of images at her website for kids to color. These are some
sophisticated and beautiful drawings, so they will take a while to
- ColoringCastle.com — This site features a wide selection of pages available in easy-to-print PDF format.
— This site offers some simple coloring pages in PDF form, but
additional high-detailed coloring pages are unlocked with a membership
fee. Still, the selection of free pages are sufficient.
A collection of original coloring pages and puzzles for kids, though
the navigation through the site can be a little confusing. Despite that,
this site offers a number of interesting features, including online
coloring, an add-your-own text feature and musical accompaniment.
So now that you’ve got all these great images printed out, you should
make it easy and fun for your kids to work on the coloring pages. Here
are some ideas:
- Color along with your child — Kids don’t like
to be told “Here’s your project, now let me go and watch TV.” Instead,
dedicate some time to color with them. Talk about what you’re coloring
and why you’ve made your artistic choices.
- Provide multiple ways to color ––
Crayons are great, but some kids think that crayons are just for
“little kids,” so rather than buy the mega-sized box of crayons, pick up
a variety of coloring tools — markers or colored pencils are great
ideas, but watercolor paint or chalk would be fun if you don’t mind the
mess. Let your child pick out what they want to use.
- Print out a wide variety of topics
— Don’t just print out 30 images of fairies. Give your girls an
opportunity to color race cars. Give your boys a chance to color cute
puppies and kitties.
- Provide additional supplies — Along
with the crayons, markers and colored pencils, offer scissors, Popsicle
sticks and pipe cleaners. Have them transform their two dimensional
coloring page into something more, such as a puppet or jigsaw puzzle.