Instead of the expense of continually purchasing new ones, make reusable coloring books — you'll always have new pages to give to the kids, and it's a very easy project.
There are many sources for free coloring pages online, including right here at SheKnows. Just do a Google search for free coloring pages, and you'll find a variety of printables ready and waiting! When you find a site you like, bookmark it. You'll probably be surprised by what's available and want to return to the site again. There are seasonal and holiday themes, nature and animals, pages you can select based on the age and special interests of the child — princesses, trucks and even favorite cartoon characters and super-heroes. Choosing a theme your child will especially like makes the coloring book you create special. You can also use a new coloring book for this project. Find one your child wants and carefully remove the pages from the binding.
Print out or assemble your selections and you're ready for step #2.
From your local drug store, purchase laminate sheets that don't require heat, or have the pages laminated at an office supply store or copy facility. This won't cost much and will save you the effort of doing it yourself and likely be as cost-effective as purchasing do-it-yourself supplies! Once the sheets have been laminated, use a three-hole punch on the left edge of each sheet and arrange them in a loose-leaf binder. This makes the book handy to store and keeps the pages all together, and your children can browse through the book to select the sheet that they want to color. They can remove the chosen sheet when they're ready to start creating.
Buy some dry-erase or washable markers in a variety of colors — these are readily available at most office supply, craft and dollar stores. The child can color their pages and the laminate can later be wiped clean with a damp sponge or wet cloth so it's ready to be colored again and again!
Make it more interesting by adding some variety to the book. There are printable online games such as connect-the-dots and simple puzzles that you might laminate and include. Kids will like the challenge of working on these, and they can spend happy hours quietly occupied with their custom coloring book. Choose a binder with a pocket so that the markers can be stored together with the pages, and be sure to include plenty of colored markers to make it fun.
When the holidays roll around, create custom coloring books with a holiday theme. You can use coloring books as stocking stuffers, place them in Easter baskets and more.
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