Recommendations for Creative Ways to Avoid
Negative Effects of Workbooks and Coloring Books 
by Marvin Bartel
  • Avoid stereotyping coloring books, drawing guides, drawing formulas, patterns, dot to dot games, etc.

  • .
  • Provide enjoyable experiences, observations, and encourage imagination

  • During observations and experiences, ask questions about quantities, sizes, textures, and shadows, colors newances, proportions, shapes, etc.
    Focus attention to detail during observation and during experiences
  • While children work, motivate with open questions to encourage thinking, memory, and imagination  

  • Never be critical and do not correct an artist at work
    Encourage children to be choice makers     Empower them 
    Do NOT draw for them    Do NOT show them how 
    DO say, "Can YOU show ME how YOU think it might look?"
  • Children who color their own drawings also develop coordination skills

  • Provide ample materials and blank paper, coloring books are not needed
  • Reward and encourage practice-practice-practice

  • .
  • Focus on previously unlearned tasks by changing habits of work

  • Sculpt a pet or a memory from clay or play dough
    Cut and assemble pieces of paper or sticks 
    Tape paper under a table and work from the floor 
    Then look at Sistine Chapel illustrations and talk about Michelangelo
  • Show enthusiasm for fresh ideas from children 

  • Say, "Tell me about it"   Do NOT say, "What is it?"

    Back to Lowenfeld's bird drawing examples

All rights reserved.  This page © Marvin Bartel.  You may link to this page, but you may not post it on your site or publish it.
For permission to make copies or handouts, contact the author.
updated 29 February 2004