Your baby never too young to start coloring with you.
While some studies have shown that parents that color earlier with their children, encourage the development of their child creativity, other studies are finding an important correlation between coloring and something called graphonemic knowledge, which is the ability to recognize differences in shapes and symbols that eventually contribute to learning to read.
While in previous post we have discussed the importance of vocabulary exposure (link here) Coloring is just one more simple way you can take the first steps with your child to give them a head start on reading.
When your child is too young, color on a clipboard letting them see you choose a color and then begin to fill in the picture. As they are able to (about 10-12 months) begin helping them hold the crayon and scribble. It may feel a little silly, but you are helping them develop the fine motor skills they will need later on.
As your children start wanting independence in coloring come up with new ways to incorporate it, such as coloring in a box or on a giant poster board.
Encourage them to add scribbles below their drawing to help “tell a story” this will become writing later on. To read more about how to help your child develop writing here are two guest articles I wrote that have activity ideas and feedback examples:
Don’t forget to do something with those coloring pages. I like putting mine in thank you cards to Grandparents or cousins.