Review of "I Can Color" by School Specialty Publishing
The I Can Color Book is part of the "Big Skills for Little Hands" series put out in 2008 by Brighter Child a division of School Specialty Publishing. The series is designed to teach a child fine motor skills and help prepare them for school. And while there are a variety of books claiming to do the same thing I highly recommend this book.
Not only does the I Can Color book includes 69 activities that progressively require more hand-eye coordination. The activities are designed to gradually improve a child's ability to hold and write with writing utensils. Moreover, each activity includes instructions for parents presenting additional teaching possibilities.
The book is designed to also teach color recognition. Through oral direction and visual clues your child is aided in choosing the correct color for the activities. By the end of the book the visual clues are removed and you child is expected to choose the colors based only on your verbal clues.
Another goal of the book is to help your child learn to follow verbal directions. The instructions for parents that accompany the activities include directions for the parents to relay to their child orally. These directions become more detailed and specific as the child progresses through the book.
The book also presents some basic math concepts. Pattern recognition is required of some of the later activities. The child is presented with a color pattern with a color of the pieces empty. In the earlier activities the child is given visual clues, but later activities offer no clues but the pattern itself.
Another math concept introduced is number recognition. Numbers are introduced through color by number and fill in the correct number activities. These activities are near the end of the book.
The book features perforated pages for easy removal of each activity. (Though the directions while have to be cut off of each activity.) There are also some ideas in the back of the book for expanding on some of the activities included. Additionally there are sample pages from the other books in the series. The book ends with a certificate of achievement to present to your child.
The book claims to be for ages two and up. And while a two year old will have no difficulty with the early activities some of the later ones are likely to present challenging. Therefore if you are using this book with a two year old I would not follow their two to three activities a day guideline. Instead let your child be your guide. As the activities begin to present more of a challenge slow down the pace. Offer additional activities that are along the lines of those your child is currently working on in the book.
If you are unsure how to prepare your child for school or if you don't wish to prepare all the activities yourself this book is a good choice. The activities actually progress gradually without the sudden jumps in knowledge that some books seem to require and there are a number of helpful words of wisdom included for the parents.