Nothing sets primary education experts off more than coloring pages for kids. There are lists of positive effects as well as warnings against using this technique. While both sides are armed with credible research, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Below are many of the benefits for children.
- Improves fine motor control – that enhances educational experiences
- Acts as an introduction to school-work
- Taps into their creativity
- Assists with control for printing and hand-writing
- Introduces the various colors with their names
- Improved eye-hand coordination
- Provides a structure for their own experimentation with drawing
- Builds self-esteem by engaging in creating a successful product
- Allows for self-expression through color choice
- Reduces stress as the activity is absorbing yet results in a successful outcome.
The Bad and the Ugly
From 1947 experts in creativity have shunned coloring pages. The basis of their opinion rests on the argument that “there is no evidence that these laboriously colored balloons and kites actually help to develop either number concepts or reading abilities,” according to Lowenfeld, a professor at Penn State who wrote about creativity and mental growth. In addition, “there is general agreement that coloring books too are detrimental to children’s creative expression.” as reported in the NRP Ed Newsletter. (National Radio Podcasts) Their view is based on who is in control of the activity. While children are engaged in the coloring activity, they are merely following someone else’s idea instead of using their own creative abilities. In addition, many of the coloring pages are steeped in conformity with only a particular viewpoint of the world exposed. So coloring books tend to reinforce stereotypes.
Does that mean we should throw out the baby with the bath water? Do we dispense with all coloring pages for kids? Not so fast, as there are what is called recreational benefits that may be worthwhile. The answer rests with the number of times kids engage in this type of activity. Use coloring books for specific reasons such as
Quiet Time: Coloring books may be very suitable for trips in the car or when you are visiting relatives and desire a quiet activity for your child. Doctors and dentist offices, as well as restaurants, use this method as well to amuse kids while parents are busy.
Stress Release or Distraction: The coloring pages for kids can also act as a way to calm down a child who is upset, if they have previously shown that they enjoy coloring.
Learning Opportunity: Introduce your child to a new technique or concept. For example, find a coloring book that helps with blending colours or teaches you about the human body.
So, say Yes to coloring pages for kids, but use them sparingly and for a specific purpose. If you have coloring books in your home, offer them to your child and then put them away out of sight for the next time you need them.
But also provide art materials that do appeal to your child’s imagination.
After all, aren’t most things in life subject to a balanced approach?
Some Innovative Suggestions
Jumbo Coloring Book: The jumbo size encourages young children to participate as it is easier to stay within the lines with a large-size format. The pages are easy to pull out so that the images can be worked on side by side with several children in the family.
Your child can select from 50 different themes that have simplified drawings. On each page is a space dedicated for your child’s name to announce who created the fantastic artwork.
Relaxation Coloring Book for Girls: Encourage your daughter to spend time relaxing by coloring in a book specially designed for her.
There will be times when your daughter just needs to chill out. Better to be engaged in a engrossing activity while she gives her mind a break from stress. There are so many beautiful designs from which to choose. Buy a frame to display the best pieces.
Blend, Shade and Inspiration Pad: If your young artist loves to draw, they will appreciate widening the skill set with this coloring book that focuses on shading.
This is for teenagers or determined younger artists. There are 4 theory pages as well as 36 pages of practice with pencils as well as markers.
Big Coloring Pages: Turn coloring pages into a performance art. There is room for friends and family members to participate.
You might think coloring is just for little kids but you will be surprised by how many people find this activity soothing. Hang the poster to be accessible at all times.
Black Board Wallpaper or Paint: You can set aside an area in your home for creative drawings where your kids can color on the walls using chalk or stunning liquid markers. And when the drawings have had their viewing with a little care, you can create a completely blank canvas again.
Your kids will love to show off their creativity in this large format drawing area. You can start your kids off with a doodle or a setting to spark their interest. Take a photo of the most interesting pieces of art work.
My Comic Book: Your child can create their own comic book with support in using set panels. This kit includes everything you need from start to printed copy of your child’s comic. An author page is included as well. You can order more copies of the comic book for interested family members and friends as gifts from the heart.
For a child with a creative mind, this kit will spark many storylines. Once the comic is completed, you can send away for the comic to be printed in a comic format.
Calligraphy Hand Lettering Kit: While the kit has markers instead of proper calligraphy pens, it does expose your graphic artist to calligraphy with all of the materials in one kit.
Inspire experimentation in calligraphy with some ready made designs and a host of tools. There are 15 pages of practice and instruction as well as 3 framable art projects.
Hey Clay: This kit is specifically designed for modelling birds with an app for inspiration, but of course the brightly coloured clay can be used for anything you child wants. The clay does not smell and it is non toxic. Look for other similar kits with different topics.
Hey Clay is a modelling substance you can easily manipulate, but it also dries hard overnight so you can display your artwork the next day. It comes with 18 cans of super bright colours, enough for any imagination and sharing with friends.
Studio in A Box: Supply the artist in your family with this first box of tools to encourage experiementation with a variety of media, including sketching, painting and coloring.
Included in the kit are 16 colored pencils with 3 drawing pencils, 10 washable markers, and 10 acrylic paints as well as 12 water color paints. Packed into the case are the appropriate tools as well. So handy to carry from spot to spot.
IlluStory: When your kid is finished with this activity you can send away for a hard covered book of his or her work. Order more copies of the book as presents for family members.
This award winning kit encourages an artistic response to a story or non-fiction book. Have you child recount a favourite activity or holiday to share with the world. Make a slide show to share electronically, too.
Human Body – Coloring: This coloring book would be great for any teen studying human anatomy in high school. It is equally applicable for students in college as well, as it is antomically correct. There are more simplified anatomy coloring books for younger kids.
Learn about the human body while coloring. Any athlete that has suffered an injury or just pulled a muscle would benefit from knowing more about his or her body.
Whether your purpose it to extend your child’s skill level in drawing, or to provide a relaxing activity,
beyond the standard coloring books
to enhance the experience.
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