12 Creative Ways to Learn with Coloring Pages

Coloring pages seem like the perfect quiet time or busy activity for kids. However, my daughters (and I'm sure my kids aren't the only ones) will spend about 5 minutes or less if I give them a coloring page and crayons. Granted, this may be because they are still young (3 1/2 and almost 2 yrs), but I wanted to find a way to engage my kids and also get some educational value out of a simple coloring page. 

Recently, we went on a vacation which involved an airplane flight as well as multiple car rides. While I thought I had packed enough activities, I ended up running out of things to keep them busy. I went out and bought some coloring books and decided to get creative!

Here are 12 ideas for creative ways of using and learning with coloring pages, as well as a list of my favorite free coloring page resources at the end!

12 Creative Ways to Learn with Coloring Pages

1. Color By Number
This is a super easy way to turn a coloring page into an educational activity! Just create a legend of numbers and their corresponding colors, and write the numbers on the picture where the colors go. For a fun twist, you can play a roll & color game by rolling a die, calling out the number and then coloring one of the numbers in the picture. Keep rolling and playing until the picture is complete.

2. Color by Letter or Sight Word
This is the same idea as number 1 but you can use letters, words, shapes or anything else that your child is learning.

3. Color by Dots
Use a marker to create little circles, essentially labeling which colors go where on the page. Great for color recognition in young children.

4. Color by Sequence 
Write numbers or letters throughout the picture and ask your child to color in numerical or alphabetical order. 

5. Sticker by Number/Letter/Word
This one is a favorite at our house! Hide letters, numbers or words throughout the picture and also write them on a set of stickers (I like to purchase these circle labeling stickers at the dollar store). The child then places the stickers over the correct letter or number.

6. Cut & Make into a Puzzle
This one is really easy to prep. Just cut the paper into 4, 6, 9 or 12 pieces and let your child put it back together. You can also let the child do the cutting and it doubles as cutting practice!

7. Cut in Half and Complete Picture
Learn about symmetry or just let your child use their imagination to complete the picture.

8. Find & Color
Depending on the type of coloring page, ask your child to find a specific shape, object or character and once they find it they color it. Repeat until the whole page is colored. This would be great with a more complex coloring page with many different elements.

9. Make a Collage
We do this one a lot at our house. I give my kids craft supplies such as tissue paper, pom poms, feathers, googly eyes, scrap paper, buttons, etc and have them glue these things onto the coloring page. It usually comes out like a work of art! You may need to reinforce the paper or, if you are printing, you can print on cardstock or heavy paper. 

10. Turn into a Playdough Mat
Any coloring page can be turned into a playdough mat. Just laminate the sheet (or not) and give your child playdough to "color" in the picture. Tons of fun and great for fine motor skills.

11. Turn into a Lacing Card
This one works best if the coloring page is mainly one animal, object or character. Laminate the page (or print on cardstock), then cut out the main object and punch holes around it. Give your child a shoelace, string, yarn etc. to lace around the picture.

12. Cut out Characters/Animals/Objects and Make Story Puppets
Another idea that works only for certain coloring pages. Cut out the main characters, animals, etc. and turn them into puppets by taping a craft stick to the back. Ask your child to come up with a story and use the puppets to act it out.

Free Coloring Pages & Resources:

300+ Disney Princess Coloring Pages by What Mommy Does
35 Free Disney's Frozen Coloring Pages by The Kid's Coloring Pages
1000+ Free Disney Coloring Pages for Kids by The Farm Girl Gabs
Famous Paintings Coloring Pages by Super Coloring
Marvel Superhero Squad Coloring Pages by On Coloring
Robots Coloring Pages by The Art & Craft Giraffe
32 Free Zoo Animal Coloring Pages by Raising Our Kids
Animal Coloring Pages by Better Homes & Gardens
Eric Carle Coloring Pages by Mom Junction


Viviana is a blogging mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a kindergartner, sharing ideas and resources for early education. She specializes in unique, hands-on printable activities that are educational, fun and inspire creativity in young minds.


  1. I love your coloring ideas! Sometimes simply coloring loses its appeal with my 4 year old but I'm going to give some of your ideas a try! Re-sharing too!

  2. I love these ideas Viviana! I wish I'd read this before our recent airplane trip - might have helped.