Tips For Coloring in the Car

The birds are chirping, new grass is growing, and the kids are getting antsy in their desks at school. �That can only mean one thing..Summer is on its way. �And with summer come new family adventures and road trips. �If you have young children, it is important to keep them entertained on the road. �One of my go-to car activities for kids is coloring. �Sounds pretty basic, right? �Well, kind of. I've had a few car-coloring fails that have brought me to this list: �

7 guidelines for coloring in the car: ���

1. Avoid crayons. �Crayons are no longer crayons when they melt. �And they do melt--especially in sunny Summer, and this the Sunshine State. �I learned this one the hard way as I poured boiling water on a bright orange crayon that melted into a bright orange puddle on the upholstery of my car. ���

2. No markers and pens for kids under 8. �Sounds reasonable, don't you think? �Another hard-learned lesson for me. �Even a well-trained, well-behaved six-year-old can get board and use the car interior as a canvas. �And that "Washable" sign on your favorite marker box? �Don't trust it. � ���

3. Have a coloring bin or box. �Small pencil bags are cute, but they are also quite flimsy, and difficult to manage in a moving car. �And when it drops, it may seem like the end of the world to a child engrossed in a magnificent creation! �Instead of a pencil bag, find a sturdy bin that will hold all of the coloring materials in a nice, secure place that is easy to reach and won't tip over. � You could also purchase a shallow bin for lap coloring--this will provide a hard surface as well as a place to catch wayward drawing tools. ���

4. Magic Coloring Sets. �These are the kits that come with a marker that only shows up on a special page made specifically for that marker. �They come in many varieties and include word search and puzzle options �for older children. �I've found them at gas stations all over as well as a few toy stores. �I like the ones with fewer markers--one is preferable, because 7 markers and 7 lids equal 14 pieces on the floor of the car. � ��

5. Encourage observation. �If you're driving a long distance, it's likely your children will see unfamiliar topography. �Take that opportunity to have them observe what they see, draw it, and talk about it. ���

6. Have plenty of extra. �Nothing can ruin a road trip quite like quarrelling siblings. �Make sure you have plenty of supplies on hand so there is no reason for fighting. �Keep extras in the coloring bin! ���

7. Colored Pencils are Key. �I've found these to be the best tool for car-coloring. �Colored pencils will not melt, they can't easily be used to draw on upholstery, and you can find thick, blunt tips for younger children. � (While sharp ones can be used as weaponry, yikes!) ���

Coloring is a great activity that engages the mind in the car. �Just make sure to follow these pointers so color magic does not become color mayhem! �

Author's Note: Christina is a local FL writer and owner of the blog Laughing and Losing It. In her blog she shares the joys and insanity of�Motherhood through tips, crafts, thoughts, and laughter. Follow her on Facebook.

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