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Waves of Communication
It's National Coloring Book Day!
Learn to Use Your Favorite Coloring Book Activity to Facilitate Spoken Language
Written by Marci Melzer on August 2nd, 2020
Hey Language Facilitator Parents, today is National Coloring book day!

Coloring books provide images your child enjoys and a way to interact with those images. This combination makes the perfect recipe for easy, repeatable, FUN language facilitation opportunities that can be used anywhere anytime!

Try these ideas for using coloring books with your late talker to facilitate the words they are thinking about today.

🖌️🎨 Choose the coloring method you use carefully. Always present options that you don’t mind your child using in their way.  Kids will break crayons, smear paint, and struggle with caps on markers as they explore using these tools.  
🚫 If you react in a negative way when this happens, it will block the intention of the activity (having fun and learning). Always demonstrate how to use materials correctly before offering them to your child so you can avoid any inappropriate exploration (like eating). If you are not able to supervise the coloring activity, only present your child with YES materials that they have demonstrated that they can play with safely in any way THEY choose.

🎨📚 Choose the coloring books or pictures thoughtfully. Present options that are familiar and interesting to your child. Allow your child to choose the picture they want to color and discuss why their choice is a good one.
✔️ Pro tip: choose a picture for yourself to color as well. This way you can model language for talking about opinions and demonstrate coloring technique on your own example. This will encourage your child to do their own work by providing an example of the behavior you want to see while coloring together with friends.

🎨📚 Be conscious about what you are teaching in this precious time together. Coloring inside the lines is not a concept that comes naturally to children and it is not a necessary skill for kids to learn as their first job with a coloring book.
✔️ Pro Tip: Teach your child how to draw with demonstration of the skills necessary. Start with the basics and model the best way to hold the crayon. Then show your child all the different ways they can transfer the color onto the paper.

🎨📚 Focus on the language and feelings behind the “art”. Coloring books are best used for natural language facilitation when you think “outside of the lines” and even outside of what is “normal”. Allow for creativity as your child expands on the basic structure of the picture. Talk about the unique color choices your child makes as well as the choices you make for your own artwork.  
✔️ Pro Tip: Share your feelings and opinions about the choices you have made and discuss why you like/respect your child’s choices too. Instead of placing requirements of what color or what place they should use, model the appropriate configurations on your own picture and talk about how they are different.

🎨📚 Once your child is good at tracing, shading, and filling in spaces to make a picture, show your child how to draw extra embellishments onto the image to expand the ideas. ✔️ Pro Tip: You can also add other images in the space around the picture to create a scene and tell a story. This will expand your ideas beyond the basics of color names and descriptions of the line drawing and bring your imagination into the discussion.

Parents, YOU are the best language facilitators, and when you do everyday learning activities such as coloring in coloring books, the possibilities for topics to teach are endless!

Have you seen my new master class for parents? It explains exactly how to use my resources to teach your child to talk this summer. Check it out here 👇

Marci Melzer M.Ed.-SLP
Intuitive, SLP, Language Facilitation Consultant

Marci is has practiced speech pathology across the USA for 30 years. Now, she has an international online coaching program for parents of late-talking children called Waves of Communication. Marci believes that parents are the BEST language facilitators. Her online resources and parent coaching programs equip and empower parents to teach their late-talking children how to start using the words they need to share the important messages they have for the world.
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