This month, I’ve been looking for kid projects that have some mileage in them - stuff that can be worked on over the course of days or weeks. I landed on an activity that’s easy, requires few supplies and makes me feel like a wizard: I blew up a colouring page.
Specifically, I uploaded a colouring page file on Staples.com and had it enlarged as a 3-by-4-foot engineering print. These are the large black-and-white prints typically used for engineering or architectural plans. For about $US7 ($10), we now have a mural on our wall, ready to be coloured in by my 6-year-old daughter, or whoever else feels like picking up some crayons.
Editor's note: While the author of this article resides in the U.S., Officeworks provides similar printing services, starting at $1.90 for larger prints.
The colouring page I chose is designed by PicCandle on Etsy. I wanted a print that had a good amount of detail, but not Where’s Waldo-level intricacy. Last night, the kid started working on it, and then I jumped in at one point, too. Colouring really is relaxing.
To make a supersized colouring page of your own, here’s what to do:
Choose a high-resolution colouring page. There are lots of free or low-cost PDF downloads online. If you have a very young child, you might choose a simple illustration, but for older kids with more patience, you can look into mandalas or other designs from adult colouring books.
Create your engineering print. Officeworks and other boutique printing places allow you to print anything you desire, provided you have the right size file. You can resize your print on your own with Preview or an online image resizer, or use the printer’s “fit content to paper” option, if it has one. It’s ok if there’s some white space along the borders.
Tape your massive colouring page on a wall or lay it across a table or the floor, and then let your kid go at it. It’s a fun activity for play dates and parties, too. In the end, you have a giant work of art.