As we head into a third wave of Covid, another lockdown and a return to virtual at-home learning here in Ontario, the struggle to keep kids entertained and ideally off devices is real (it was real a year ago but now it's really real).
Fortunately, we recently discovered Koala Color: a clean, easy-to-navigate website filled with fun, printable images for kids to colour (aka free entertainment that inspires creativity)! The site features more than 80 different colouring pages including colour by number, affirmations to build confidence and printable birthday cards that kids can send to loved ones.
We spoke with Koala Color co-creator Jennifer Ger, about the inspiration and story behind the site.
Kind Human Club: Tell us a little about you and your story.
Jennifer Ger: I’m Jennifer Ger, mom of two boys 6 and 8 and Co Owner of Foxy Originals jewelry. At Foxy we create trend focused, versatile jewelry that is proudly made here in Toronto. I love design, product development and the thrill of launching new ideas and projects for people to enjoy. One of my proudest moments was the very first time I saw someone on the subway wearing one of our pieces. As a mom, I am always trying to think of creative ways to keep the kids busy, engaged and off their iPads.
KHC: What made you/your kiddos decide to start Koala Color? Where did the idea come from?
JG: Like many parents looking for free, printable resources to keep their kids entertained during lockdown, we could only find websites that were difficult to navigate and filled with low quality coloring images. This is when my kids and I decided to build Koala Color. It's a free, web-based resource with over 80 printable colouring pages for families. We used a refund from one of their weeks at summer camp that was cancelled to pay for the site development.
KHC: Who comes up with the design ideas/themes for the colouring pages?
JG: My boys (Noah, age 6 and Levi, age 8), literally sat down and brainstormed a list of ideas they thought would be fun to color. From a juggling octopus to skateboarding dinosaurs, the images have been taken directly from the boys’ imagination. There are also some great color by number pages as well as placemats with games and birthday cards to color and send to others.
KHC: You also have a give-back initiative to the Daily Bread Food Bank, what made you choose this organization to support?
JG: We chose the Daily Bread Food Bank as the beneficiary for the site when the boys learned that there are many kids in Toronto without sufficient access to food as a result of the pandemic. After more research we learned that in the past six months, the Daily Bread Food Bank network has seen an average of 105,000 visits each month, a 51% increase compared to last year and we knew we wanted to help.
KHC: What has been the best thing about Koala Color?
JG: Hands down the best thing about Koala Color is seeing parents sharing their kids' completed coloring pages on Instagram and knowing that we’ve created a resource that really helps parents by providing a fun off-screen activity to do together. With all of the unpredictability around us, we’re hearing from parents that the coloring pages have been a relaxing activity to take the kids’ minds off of things. Some parents are also enjoying coloring with their kids which is awesome. Please tag @koalacolor.ca with your completed pages and we’ll continue to share!
KHC: What are a few of your favourite books, apps, or tools for fostering a growth mindset in your own kids?
JG: I was the arts and crafts director at a camp in Malibu in my early 20’s and my favourite days were when I put down a tablecloth and filled the table with all kinds of arts and crafts supplies. The kids were encouraged to use the materials in any way they wanted and make their own creations. Campers were often impressed by their own ingenuity and proud of their final products! It really builds confidence to create something from nothing. I do the same with my own kids and try to do crafts with them on a weekly basis.
Though Koala Colour is a free resource for parents and their kids, visitors are also asked to make an optional donation to the Daily Bread Food Bank via the donate button on their site, to help meet the Koala Color fundraising goal of $1,000, and to help feed children experiencing hunger in Toronto. To donate, visit their donation page.
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