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Why doesn’t my son color anymore?
Q: My 3½-year-old son loves to colour and draw, but lately he doesn’t draw as much as he used to. Instead he colours in small patches of many different colours, not really following the picture. Is this a sign that’s something wrong? He’s bright in everything else.
A: I think it probably means that he is just bored with colouring books and wants to produce his own art. It is possible that he has heard a teacher or someone malign colouring books and thinks that by ignoring the pictures he is doing what he should. To some people, colouring books are an anathema. I am not in that group, as I feel that they help develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor control. However, if they provide the only opportunity for drawing and colouring that a child has, I think they are more harmful than helpful.

Try giving him some finger-paints and brush paints and sheets of blank paper. I save sheets of paper that come out of my printer with maybe only one or two lines on them for my granddaughters to use for drawing and colouring. If you have an easel for him to use, that is fine. However, putting the paper down on the kitchen floor on top of newspapers will work just about as well. Or, if he says he wants to colour not paint, give him blank paper and crayons or pencils.

There is certainly nothing to worry about in the reduced interest he is showing in colouring. It could be either a phase, as you suggest, or it could simply be an indication that this is not where his interests lie.