Easy Coloring Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers


Looking for a great way to let your toddler or preschooler color while containing the mess and having so much fun? We have the perfect, easy way to make that happen! The best thing about this fun activity is that you have to spend little or no extra money. 

All you need for this simple color activity is a cardboard box for your child to sit in. This way, younger kids can color all over the inside of the box without getting marker on anything they are not supposed to. 

toddler coloring inside a box

At our house, we’re always looking for toddler activities that will keep my son entertained, but is also minimal clean up for us. This activity is exactly that!

Start Coloring with Ease

Next time you or someone you know receives a large box, remember to keep that box for the coloring activity! Then, give your child some markers in different colors. You’ll be surprised by all the creative ways your child can come up with to decorate their box. 

You can leave your child to it, or you can stay with them and color. This is a great opportunity to practice color words and color recognition with them. For older children, you can also practice letters, writing, and letter recognition on the box. 

toddler writing letters on a box

Coloring with No Mess

Kids of all ages can enjoy this fun coloring activity (depending on the size of your box), but this is an especially fantastic way for younger children to color. The best part is that the box keeps them and the markers contained. 

toddler coloring on a cardboard box

The best way to encourage your child’s creativity is to give them coloring activities with few rules or limits. Coloring inside a cardboard box allows them to color wherever and how ever much they want. 

Coloring for Young Children

While coloring, holding any type of writing utensil is a great way to build fine motor skills. Letting your children color in new and fun ways helps them build the muscles of their fingers and hand. Coloring all around themself and on the floor of the box also helps improve hand-eye coordination. 

Here’s a whole list of fine motor goals to gauge where your child should be. 

Depending on the age of your child and skill levels, they may just scribble with large strokes and no real ‘form’. That is to be expected of toddlers and young preschoolers. For older children, you can correct their hand placement to make sure they have a pencil grip while coloring. 

toddler coloring in a cardboard box

A young child’s imagination can also benefit from free coloring vs always having coloring pages. Let them scribble and color to their heart’s content. 

More Fun Activities to Try

sensory bin with pink rocks and plastic fish

Here’s even more fun activities to try with your young children. A favorite of my son is a sensory bin! Sensory play is amazing for this age, and our full guide with help you make the best one (and minimize mess!).

toddler playing with horses and play dough

Try our favorite fine motor skills activity! This will help with all kinds of skills including writing and using scissors.

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