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My daughter (2.5) loves colouring books, but she uses pretty much one every day. Could someone recommend a decent free online resource of printable materials for children? (at 2.5 years of age these would be mainly colouring books, but maybe some games would be more appropriate for older children). Ideally in pdf format for high-quality printouts.

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Great question! I need to remember this when my son gets old enough!! –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Nov 15 '11 at 8:21
    
Are you sure it isn't cheaper to buy the coloring books pre-printed on recycled newsprint by industrial equipment rather than on high-quality expensive white printer paper printed on your personal ink-jet or laser printer with expensive ink or toner? –  Marc Sep 20 at 3:36
    
Have you considered a whiteboard instead? I think there are now washable markers available, and you wouldn't have to buy either coloring books or printer paper and ink/toner. –  user7823 Oct 25 at 1:03

9 Answers 9

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Here are a few places that I have found that are kind of home school related but I figure I will use as color pages to help my kids learn as they are playing.

Here are some pinterest searchs that may have what you need:

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Resources

Make Your Own

Also, you can scan the picture books, comics, stories, etc... that you already have at home and remove the colors using a photo/image editing software. That way you get neatly defined coloring books with familiar characters, and tons of possibilities. You can of course do this with just about any image, but obviously picture books have neatly defined drawings and it's just the reverse of the processed they went through (they're usually inked and then colored).

Pro-tip 1: digitally cut out some of characters or background elements and you can then make new scenes, or even build new stories with your child. Variation: do a cartoon/picture mad-lib.

Pro-tip 2: Buy a cheap thermal laminator so you don't print hundreds of pages for coloring and other activities per month, and so you can reuse them multiple times. I don't do this all the time because I think it's important the kids learn to draw on paper with pencils, but sometimes using a laminated version with markers makes your life a tad easier. So for the less serious activities I find that pretty useful. Plus you can then use the laminator for other uses (posters to pin on the wall, protecting good drawings you want to keep, etc..)

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I really like this krazydad site, cheers! –  Grzenio Oct 3 '13 at 11:15

Even my kid love to color a lot, he loves super heroes like spider man, pokemon etc., i regularly download from MomJunction , even they have many cartoons , animals, alphabet etc.

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I just came across this description on how to create coloring book pages from your own photos:

Turn your family photos into fun kids' coloring books for free! This simple tutorial will teach you how to turn any photograph into black and white outlines that you can print out at home. [...] I'm going to talk through this process in a lot of detail, but that's only so that a complete beginner will feel comfortable. Don't be intimidated by the number of steps; you can actually complete the project in about 5 minutes!

(hat tip to Lifehacker.)

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You could also take a comic / picture book, scan it, and remove colors the same way. Just any book your child already owns can be turned into a drawing book. –  haylem Sep 24 '13 at 21:55

There are many pages two of my favorite are: http://www.coloring.ws/coloring.html and http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/

The first one is great because there is a wide range of pages and can be searched by something that interests your child. The second on is Crayola's site - this site is great because it has more than just coloring pages, it has a variety of projects as well, which may be great especially as your child grows. I have found if you are looking for something specific, search that topic and coloring page and you will generally find free pages to print off for example "bear coloring page" will provide you an extensive list of pages.

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You can search Google Images or bing images for a character of her choice with keywords like coloring pages and let her select from the thumbnails which image to print.

In Google Images selecting for black and white images can save you the need for additional keywords.

The sites that come up in the search often have a collection of coloring pages.

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Yeah, done that. Its really hard to find high quality (pdf) versions though. –  Grzenio Nov 16 '11 at 20:48
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+1 Nice answer, it's the one I would have suggested too. @Grzenio: Are you sure picture quality images are a requirement for the child? Guessing the subject matter is more important to the child, and Google images makes finding topic related b&w line art easy. –  blunders Nov 17 '11 at 4:31

I saw a link to the following website and remembered your question. This site has paperdolls from 27 different countries you can print, color, and play with.

http://www.education.com/slideshow/exploring-cultures-paper-dolls-world/paper-dolls-world-asia-I/

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Often if you go to the websites of her favourite characters websites (Peppa pig, for example) you'll find things to print for colouring in ("things to do" or "activities" normally).

Another approach you may want to consider is something that can be reset, for example:

1) White-board

2) Blackboard

3) A reusable colouring book like ReColoritz

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One quick idea that comes to mind is all the line-art or black-and-white clip art in your computer's office suite. If you have MS Office then there is a huge library of clip art, and even more available online.

You could select a bunch of suitable images and print them out. If you do this, do a quick calculation on printing costs first, because it might still be cheaper to buy a stack of books than a stack of ink cartridges...!

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Sounds like a great idea! I have a big old laser printer, so printing is rather cheap in my case. –  Grzenio Nov 13 '11 at 17:46

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