Brighteyes (5 years old) found me looking at a site of downloadable coloring pages and announced that she was too old for coloring, it bored her, she just wanted puzzles in the future.
"Okay, what if I showed you a coloring page that's also a puzzle? That doesn't have any one right answer and that you can do over and over again completely differently every time?"
She looked skeptical. I downloaded us all mandalas to color.
That was over two days ago. Since then, we have done little else from waking up to bedtime but color mandalas. There has been much giggling and squealing and "oooh pretty!" The limits of a 64-color crayon box have been exceeded in a single picture. The pros and cons of crayons vs. fine-tip markers vs. color pencils have been tested and discussed. Gigantic stalks and leaves have been drawn for the flower mandalas and skies have been added for the sun and star mandalas. Mommy has explored how few colors can be used on certain patterns while everyone else explores how many colors can be used. Violent protest have arose at bedtime that, "I'm not too tired to start another one!"
In short, major-league fun has been had by all.
Normally I like schedules, but sometimes you just got to go with the flow. They're learning loads of things about both fine-motor control and art, and having fun doing it.
Here's some sites that have free mandala and geometric coloring pages. Not all of them are doable by very young children but some of them are:
http://www.coloringcastle.com/mandala_coloring_pages.html (Check out their geometric pages and the butterfly mandala on the butterfly page. The butterfly is way too complicated for most adults, but nice eye candy.)
http://mandalarbre.com/35_mandalas.htm (the site is in French, but click on any mandala to find dozens of free coloring samples)