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Stencils and Coloring Books
Crafts
Type: Crafts   Skills: Critical ThinkingLanguage & LiteracyPhysical & Motor Skills
In this activity, youíll learn how you can make homemade coloring books and stencils for your children. Youíll also learn some tips on the right and wrong ways to use stencils and coloring books. Stencils and Coloring Books
What We Learn
By coloring or tracing, kids will develop their fine motor skills. Children are practicing how to hold writing instruments appropriately and on purpose. Theyíre not going to get to writing without scribbling, and scribbling is a pre-writing skill. Theyíll also be exposed to the fact that writing is used to communicate different things. Most importantly, theyíll learn that writing can be fun!
Supply List
Homemade Coloring Book:
Paper
Holepuncher
Yarn
Homemade Stencils:
Cardboard
Scissors
Old CDs
Plastic lids
Ruler
How-To
Coloring Books: Some people feel that coloring books donít promote creativity. If used appropriately, however, coloring books can help with childrenís fine motor development. Remember to be open-ended with the activity. Donít force children to color only within the lines or make them use only certain colors to represent certain objects. This only makes coloring a chore and takes the fun out it for kids. Instead, let children know they can use whatever colors they want, and that they donít have to color within the lines.

Some people donít like how many coloring books are tied to a movie or TV character. Instead, you can draw simple objects or animals on your own and have your kids color that. Or you can make the activity even more open-ended by providing a coloring book where the pages are blank for the children to scribble, draw or color on their own. The important thing is that your child develops his or her fine motor skills.

You can easily create your own coloring books by taking some blank paper, punching holes along one side, and binding the pages together with yarn.

Stencils: Stencils are pre-defined tracing devices where children can trace an object or letter thatís already cut out. Avoid using letter stencils because children learn to write only the way the stencil is. They donít learn how there are different types of letters. If a child is writing backwards, stencils wonít help them learn the process of writing. Instead of using letter stencils, use stencils resembling animals or in geometric shapes.

You can create your own stencils by simply taking pieces of cardboard and using scissors to cut out various shapes in the center of the cardboard.

You can also use household items such as old CDs or plastic lids which children can use as a stencil to trace around to form a circle.

If your stencil patterns are too complicated, you can always start by having your child develop pre-writing skills by first practicing to draw a straight line using a simple ruler.
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