I won’t lie, our playroom is filled to the brim with colouring books….but since the girls discovered that my laptop has the wonderful ability to pull up any picture they can dream of to be coloured in they have me hounded. Terrible for the poor auld trees but great for my sanity. People often ask me how I find the time to get all the DIY things done around the house and I’m about to let you all in on a secret. Firstly, its not television that occupies the ladies while I’m busy creating my next Pinterest fail success, but rather I stock them up with colouring pages and worksheets and they love it. They love getting involved and choosing what they want to do and I really think this involvement in the choice means they are really enthusiastic about the activity. It keeps them busy for ages and it also means that rather than mindlessly watching the tv (not that I’m against that either at the best of times!) it means they girls chat between themselves and the big lady helps the small lady so it’s win win.I won’t link any websites because it’s hit and miss what is free, what is not and if you want to sign up for one of those paid services then do by all means but here are the top few things we search for on Google to keep the girls busy. I just search through the images then, save them then print them off on my HP Envy Printer, it’s quick and easy and the quality is absolutely perfect, the girls love standing beside the printer too and collecting their pages, it’s the simple things eh!I mentioned it before but its so handy its worth another mention – for my ink I used the Instant Ink subscription service from HP. My printer is connected to my laptop and it remotely monitors the amount of ink I use so when I run low I am automatically sent replacement cartridges. I’ve been using this for months now and they send the replacements well in advance of you needing them so you will literally never run out!
Colouring Pages – all ages
For both age groups obviously, colouring pages are a big hit – there is an incredible volume of options for kids online. My ladies are mad into Spirit which is a Netflix original about a girl and her horse and so they want colouring pages from that series on repeat now. If you want to challenge a slightly older child (4+) you have the option of looking for colour by numbers colouring sheets.Mini Big Books – under 6
Another great option for all the under 6’s are the HP Mini Big Books which lets you create a personalised story for your kids. We tried out a few, this one being a big hit, the girls were delighted to see the big ladies face in the book! It’s takes a minute to work out how to physically put the book together but its perfectly pitching for a 5 to 6 year olds reading ability. The big lady read it to the small lady and there are lots more to choose from too.
Matching pairs and Mazes – 3 year old
For the 3 year old I have found the following options well within her ability but yet still a bit of a challenge – matching pairs and mazes. The matching pairs can be as easy or as difficult as you like and the same with the mazes; from straight lines to more complicated maze path this is great for getting them to slow down and concentrate on what they are doing with their pencil (just make sure to try and educate them on the correct grip!).Maths, Dot to Dot and Patterns – 5 year old
For the 5 year old who is in senior infants there is far more choice, from simple maths equations to complicated dot to dot pictures and pattern puzzles there are so many simple puzzles to challenge any little mind.
For a child in between my two ladies ages I know last year when the eldest lady was in junior infants she used to love when I printed off the sheets with letters and numbers on it that she could trace over. My 3 year old is not at that stage yet and the 5 year old gone past it but for some that is another really good option for printing.
Finally, my two additional tips would be firstly, encourage the kids to reuse the paper for art later, to me it seems like a dreadful waste throwing out a worksheet that was done in minutes and only on one side. And also, and this doesn’t apply to all kids, but certainly my eldest, while she loves a challenge can get quite frustrated when she can’t figure something out so I would encourage you as a parent to make sure that the minute they start to get frustrated to change up the activity. It would be a shame to have ‘work’ associated with a negative feeling at their young age.
This post is a sponsored post in conjunction with HP