The material. Some coloring books offer the ability for the child to simply run over the surface with the pens or crayons provided, and it will turn out to be the right color regardless. Some are more like paint books, and some have magic marker surfaces and come with markers that will not show up on any surface but the specially prepared book pages. Choose the book that best suits you and your child. If you are worried about markings on the walls, then don't select a pack of basic crayons, get something that uses special crayons. If you want your child to exercise their own creativity and not have to fit in the lines or color schemes planned, get basic pages. It is up to you.
Coloring pages are a simple and easy way to keep kids happy and entertained while they are learning. The internet is the perfect medium for finding and producing coloring products for kids. Coloring pages are now available in digital form e.g. pdf files. Simply find the pages your child likes, order the product and print out the pages. It's the perfect use of the internet - simple and affordable.
The complexity. Determine your child's level when it comes to coloring. Some color books provide large coloring spaces making it easier for children to color the page, stay in the lines, etc. As the child gets older, their skill level for coloring increases as well, and the difficulty of the book may as well. Some coloring books come with written instructions, and other games, such as a dot to dot, or a maze. If you want to keep your child happy, and still challenge them, choose coloring or activity books in their range or level, and do not frustrate them with books that have too small of pictures, or too many spaces to color, or written instructions.
And more often than not children want to watch TV or play games on the computer whenever there seems to be nothing else to do. Think about this, how often do you see children running around while playing outside? These days the answer is seldom to never are children playing outside. And there are many reasons for this too, it's often times just too dangerous for kids to play outside unattended.
Today the Internet simplified looking for info. And coloring pages took advantage of the Internet progress.
Occasionally, you'll find official cartoon or TV character sites (such as PBS programs) will make available coloring pages for free to their fans. And there are many other sites that distribute coloring pages of those copyrighted characters. Sounds like dangerous legal ground ...but, surprisingly, I've never heard of any of these sites being prosecuted for copyright infringement. So they'll probably continue to make them available.