Monday, April 30, 2007

Determining Your Coloring Pages Personality

Coloring pages of your childhood may have held more than just an outline. Your entire personality today can be determined by your style of coloring.

How do you color? Sure, you may not have colored a picture since you were in grade school, but even then, your style of coloring may have defined your personality today. Think back to the days of old when you saw your teacher coming around with coloring pages. Were you excited? Did you dread what was coming? What does your style of coloring tell you about yourself?

Were you the child that received your coloring page, organized your colors, studied the picture intently to see what secret messages it might contain and then, finally, began to color? Only you didn’t color. You traced. You very carefully outlined every section of the coloring page with the right color using a bit of pressure to create a dark line. Then, you filled in the outline very carefully with a lighter stroke. Your coloring page was a work of art. It was bold, it was stylish, and it was perfectly executed.

Today you probably prefer approach life the same way as the coloring pages. You look at the task at hand. You think about it. You organize whatever tools you might need – your pens, your tablet, your computer program, and then you begin. But you work carefully around the edges first. You define parameters and then begin to fill in the details. Your outcome is correct, careful and perfectly executed. You are not one to rush a job – it must be done correctly the first time.

Coloring pages were the enemy to you. Who cares about the picture of the bear or president? It was such a waste to have to color the stupid thing at all, so you just slapped some color on the page to be done it with. If, heaven forbid, the teacher was going to grade it, you might make a feeble attempt to put the right basic color in the right spot, but other than that the coloring page was an obstacle to more important things such as recess, blocks, science experiments or a good book.

Today you have no patience for obstacles. Have to finish the dishes before sitting down on the computer? Thank goodness for the kind of dishwashing technology that lets you throw anything and everything into a machine and turn it on. Attention to detail is not your strong point, but you are great at focusing on what you like, when you like it. You are a dedicated soldier sure to not let any minor annoyance - dishes, bills, stop signs – stand in your way.

Coloring pages were a template to you. They were not just a blueprint of what to color and where, but rather an outline provided to enhance your creative genius. While those around you were carefully tracing or throwing some color on the page, you were very carefully adding missing details to the picture itself. Wouldn’t George Washington look better with a polka-dotted tie? And who left out the cherry tree? You made sure it was added to the background of the coloring page. And you can’t just have a tree – you went ahead and colored the tree, added a fence, a plantation and the sky as well.

Today you seek outlets for your creativity. You work in a creative job such as web design or as an artist. There is no stopping point for a project – there is always something new to add or an area to revisit. Perhaps you are a writer always seeking out the perfect story. Or perhaps you scrapbook , enhancing pictures that would otherwise not tell the whole story. Whatever project you take on, you can be sure it will continue to grow and become more elaborate overtime – mostly because you keep seeing new things to add or try.

If you need another shot at coloring to see if your personality has changed or simply because you are now inspired to do so, try some of the newest coloring pages virtually. offers online coloring pages sure to make your perfectionist, apathetic, or creative juices start flowing again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Helping with Home Schooling

Parents who make the choice to home school often take on a burden larger than they were originally anticipating. Schools and teachers have been working for years to develop routines and activities geared toward educating children and keeping them active and learning. As parents, you may know your children best, but you might be behind the curve on learning programs, games and activities.

Going Beyond the Basics
The educational basics are simple enough. Packets and workbooks offer lesson plans for teaching the required reading, writing and arithmetic. Websites help develop a few simple science experiments and social studies topics are around us all the time. But if you wanted the basics, you would have sent your child to school. You decided to home school for a reason.

While your reasons may be complex and most likely vary from anyone else’s, you have the opportunity to educate your child at home, and this is an opportunity that should not be wasted. Trips around the country to learn history first-hand are terrific, but on a day-to-day basis, there are other ways to enrich the learning process.

Foster Creativity
One of the largest complaints about traditional school systems today is the lack of creativity in the classroom. Parents, especially those who home school, are able to foster creativity in their children and should do so as often as possible. When pen and paper ideas run out, there are many websites and materials online to help.

Online coloring pages and dress up games on websites such as offer children a chance to experiment with color and design elements while providing an enriching recreation. These coloring pages contain pictures of favorite celebrities or other doll characters sure to interest students. The material on the website itself is fodder for creativity as dolls are created who need stories and background.

Your students can read the articles with information on history, holidays and other topics of interest to school age children. They can then design their own dolls or enter writing contests based on their creations. There are other research based contests available on the website which can aide in lessons on the proper use of the internet. Best of all, the site is designed to be a safe haven for children to practice creativity on the web.

Take Advantage of Resources
When home schooling is done properly, every advantage is utilized. Resources are all around us – at museums, zoos, parks, and even online. Parents who decide to home school should take every opportunity to enrich the learning of their children and move material beyond traditional lessons. When a child can see and feel something, the impact is infinitely more powerful than by hearing it alone. Parents have a chance to use this power on a daily basis. Don’t waste it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Keeping Kids Busy

Teachers and childcare workers know the miracle that a busy child produces. Suddenly, while a child is still and occupied, time is available to get other work finished, clean up after snacks or simply sit down for the first time in hours. Finding the activities to occupy the child, however, can definitely be more challenging than figuring out what to do with the quiet time. One of the favorite activities of all time requires a little hand-eye coordination and a lot of creativity – coloring pages.

Arts and Crafts
Kids love arts and crafts, and one of the best quiet time activities is the coloring page. Provide younger students with a coloring page and minutes tick by while children select the right colors and very carefully work to stay in the lines. The problem with these pages is so many copies must be run and the stacks of paper can be a hassle to deal with. Fortunately, some arts and crafts are going online.

Online Coloring Pages
Websites are beginning to produce online coloring pages for kids. These pages can have any style of artwork imaginable and can be colored using the computer. As most children already love the computer, this is a perfect mix for a quiet time activity as well as a way to avoid more paper stacks in a classroom.

Simply sit a child in front of the computer and pull up a coloring page. The child will stay occupied while building up the critical computer usage skills so necessary in the world today. When the picture is complete, it can be printed out or cleared for another try.

Online coloring pages aren’t just for young children, however. Older children may enjoy the coloring pages, too. School age girls especially enjoy doll coloring pages from websites such as where favorite teenage celebrities and other dolls make the perfect online coloring pages.

Coloring is More Than Fun?
As any parent or teacher can tell you, coloring can be more than simply a nice time-filling activity. Practicing coloring helps to develop fine motor skills and the actual pictures can help children develop insight or knowledge about a particular item or theme. Sometimes, however, it is more fun than anything else.

When a girl sits down to color an outfit on her favorite singer or a boy is able to give life to his favorite cartoon character, it is simply a pleasure to watch. The world that we live in life moves so quickly that sometimes a gentle break can make a tremendous difference in a child’s stress level and productivity.

If students are pushed every minute they are in the classroom, regardless of age, they will eventually burn out, especially at a young age. Older children live frantic lives between school and extracurricular activities. Coloring pages help soothe the psyche for many children and give a respite in the middle of an otherwise chaotic lifestyle.