Monday, January 25, 2010

Nellie Nurse--Magic Marker Monday

Coloring is quite the chore for Jack.

I hear that some children really just don't like to color anyway and then with Jack's visual impairment you have extra barriers to coloring.

I had hoped that we would one day find that perfect recipe that would turn Jack into that kid that sits at a restaurant table thoroughly enjoying his coloring while we wait on our food. I have since realized that's probably not gonna happen but he still needs practice with coloring.

Coloring is a good fine motor activity however and it is a pre-writing skill so Jack's teachers and therapists and I have tried different things to make coloring more interesting for him.

Here are some of the ideas we've tried:

1. Slick sticks crayons and markers and Window crayons and markers. These crayons and markers require much less effort to make bold bright colors appear so it is easier to see the work you've accomplished.

2. We've found that Jack enjoys doing an activity more when there is a specific purpose for it rather than just doing an activity for its own sake. If Jack knows he's making something for someone, then he is much more into it than coloring for the sake of coloring.

3. There are specialty coloring books available for children with visual impairments. Some books like these were made strictly for the purpose of helping the visually impaired child stay in the lines. Then there are books that add texture to make the drawing themselve interesting. There are also coloring books that are not necessarily made or marketed for visual impairment but have interesting texture as well.

4. We've used Wiki sticks to outline borders and make pictures more visually attractive.

5. We've tried a light box again to attract Jack's visual attention.

6. We've tried putting textured paper under a regular coloring page so Jack could feel it as he colored.

7. Kumon makes coloring books that ease a child into coloring.

8. A sweet friend suggested that we employ Dr. MacDonald's five strategies of Sensitive Responding, Balancing, Matching, Sharing Control, and Being Emotionally Playful  to work with Jack on coloring.

It's still not his favorite activity but he's getting better at it.

Anyone else have any ideas?

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Childlife said...

What great work, Jack! (And Jack's Mommy too!) You've been doing some great things to make things fun -- something we have to work at too.

Always a challenge to figure out how to transform therapy into play time, but oh, so worth the effort. Window markers are favorites of ours as well. I keep hearing about the slick sticks and I'm going to have to check them out -- they sound great!

Keep up the great work, Jack!

~Michelle @ 5MFSN

j said...

Marie I don't have any suggestions but I will tell you that my older girls tend to enjoy coloring more than my son. Jack could need more time to develope a love for coloring.

I think his Nurse Nellie picture was wonderful! Nice bold strokes!

Mary @ Parenthood said...

I have a few suggestions but nothing as well thought out as the items on your list! For a kid that doesn't like colouring and has a visual impairment thrown into the mix he's doing really well.

I once had a whole Sunday school class of five year old boys that were really anti-colouring. Quite a shock from the sweet girls I'd had before who wanted to do nothing else. The boys tolerated mazes and connect the dots though. Not sure Jack would be up for those yet but maybe something like that would work (expanding on the idea of adding a point to the colouring).

Does Jack have a favourite book? I've seen people suggest tracing out some or all of a favourite book and then getting the child to colour it in.

Have you tried something like Crayon Resist art? I thought of it when you mentioned #4 - it's a high contrast technique and even scribbles turn into something wonderful.

#6 - have you tried making actual rubbings?

Marie said...

Thanks, Michelle! He's been coloring more and more. One of his IEP goals is to color most of a picture and I'd have to say he's met that one.
Jennifer--I think it’s in the chromosomes. I know we are not supposed to make sweeping general statements about genders anymore but by golly boys ARE different from girls. I try not to really push it at home anymore since he has to do it at school but it would be nice to come upon something one day that made him go oh coloring is the best thing EVER! LOL!
Mary--Thanks for the ideas. That favorite book thing just might be something that would get him interested. Another friend suggested using photo software to turn a picture of him into a coloring page. His teacher at school tried rubbings but I don't know if rubbings create enough of a visual contrast for him to be able to see them.

monica said...

I think that is awesome work! Thanks for visiting me.

Marie said...

Thanks, Monica!

Rachel said...

I think he's doing great!!! Some kids just like different things, and he just may not be a colorer, ya know?

Marie said...

Yeah, I'm coming to terms with it but you know it really does build a lot of skills including the ability to sit, focus, and concentrate. At this point, I don't expect him to just volunteer to do it, I just want to make it more fun when they do it at school.

mommytoalot said...

Way to go Jack. My kids love to colour.