Friday, September 23, 2011

7 benefits of coloring


My girls love to color and I have sometimes wondered if there were better ways they could be spending their time.  I have asked myself the question, "Is this just a great way to occupy them for a bit?  Or are there actual lessons to be learned from such an ordinary task?"  Given more thought, I have found that there are actually several benefits for children when they simply color a printed page. 

1- Coloring helps a child practice holding a writing tool the correct way and aids in developing those tiny muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrist.

2- Coloring aids in hand-eye coordination as the child learns to color within the specified area.

3- Children develop the skill of patience and learn to focus on details when coloring. Such a sense of accomplishment is achieved when a coloring page is completed.

4- Coloring allows a child to relax and be comfortable while creating a piece of art. Children can fill in the figures and shapes on the page any way they choose, whereas drawing can sometimes be a little intimidating that the outcome won't be exactly as they wanted.

5- Coloring a simple printed page helps a child to recognize color, hue, line, perspective, shape and form. It also helps a child to see and recognize patterns - a pre-reading and pre-math skill.

6- Eventually a child can even learn to plan as they decide the colors they will use in their picture and then what order they are going to color things within the picture.

7- Last, but not least, coloring can allow you and your child to have some quality quiet time together.  It can provide a wonderful time to sit and chat with your child.

What other benefits have you seen as your children have spent their time coloring?

12 comments:

  1. I really like your list. As I posted on my blog's facebook wall, I think another benefit of coloring is the meditative quality it can bring out. No pressure to figure out what you're drawing, just enjoying the feel of crayons on paper. Of course that sort of goes with number 7. Thanks!

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  2. Great post- Me and my three love to color in coloring books! Sometimes we like to mix things up and color things in silly ;-)

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  3. You know, I get on these crazy kicks. I read a book and become obsessed. I read a book that said coloring books were evil and not good. I seriously threw out all our coloring books. My kids haven't had any for about a half a year. I go to the dollar store and I want to buy some for the kids, but end up not doing it all because of one opinion by one woman in one book. I need to rethink my stance. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

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  4. Great article- just posted on Facebook! Also, I agree with Alissa on the meditative benefit of coloring- wonderful centering activity.
    havingfunathomeblog.blogspot.com

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  5. I have a son that hates to color and I hope he outgrows it and soon, because I'd love to spend the time 'creating' in a relaxing environment like coloring. Someday :D

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  6. The preschool community tells us that coloring books are not best-practice nor developmentally appropriate as children lose their creativity and feel inadequate to the artistic process since their work is not up to the artist's level. BUT I do agree with your points above...all those things do happen while coloring. But as a preschool teacher, and a teacher-trainer, I am expected to teach my big students that they are not to give coloring pages as learning activities. But if parents want to offer them, why not? Funny thing is that my big students LOVE to color and I will occasionally offer them (high schoolers) coloring pages if they finish a test or project early.

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  7. I like your list too! I'd add that in time it teaches color mixing too. I've started showing my daughter how to use several shades of - let's say green - to make the grass look a little more realistic and interesting.

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  8. PS Sometimes we mix and match colors too -- like layering a bit of purple on some pink (say on a princess dress) or a bit of brown in the green (for an earthy look) or maybe a splash of orange in our blue sky for a sunset effect.

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  9. I love this list! It definitely gives the flipside of the "no coloring pages" argument. Thank you for sharing! And thanks so much for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate it and I'm following you back!

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  10. I love this list too!! I recently got back into coloring and when the grand-kids came to spend the day (ages 4 and 6), I always encourage them to draw or to color. This particular day the older one asked me why I was outlining the picture so I showed them a quick way of blending colors together and shading. Now the 4 year old is the only one that uses two shades of pink and colors everything over with a white crayon to make it pretty! LOL! Her pre-k teacher was impressed!

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  11. And some coloring books can have specific lessons and topics associated to them - such as the Adventures in Miami Activity & Coloring book www.miamicoloringbook.com. It is a 32-page coloring book that is filled with line drawings of Miami's iconic experiences & attractions. It is a great way for children & adults to learn about Miami's rich history! I will post your blog post to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/miamicoloringbook

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  12. Nice piece on the benefits of colouring. For anyone interested in taking things to the next level, here’s a list of websites that offer free colouring pages for kids: http://www.michelleslearningspot.com/blog/2014/7/28/a-list-of-free-colouring-pages-for-kids

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