I absolutely love art and really enjoy coloring. As an adult I don’t get to color or draw as often as I did when I was a child, but when I get stressed the fu*k out I find coloring to be very therapeutic for me as an adult. Back in 2008 while I was studying for my masters in education I learned about the many benefits of coloring for kids. Before then, I just thought it was fun for them and maybe I knew it opened up their imagination, but I had no idea there was psychological benefits to coloring.
Coloring is a simple activity that helps children to develop cognitively, psychologically and creatively. Say what now?
The mere fact that kids actually love coloring makes it an easy activity, but when you add in the cognitive and psychological benefits, it is something that I require my kids to do. According to ColorPsychology.org, coloring could lead to a healthier, happier life in adolescence and into adulthood.So if I let my kids color they won't be fat and depressed? What #mom doesn't want that? Click To Tweet
When both of my children were about 12 months or maybe younger, I started having them scribble with crayons in coloring books and on paper for about 5-10 minutes a day. During our coloring sessions I’d talk with them about the picture and name all the crayons they were using so they would become familiar with the colors and most importantly I complimented them on how well they were doing even when they weren’t doing much of a good job at all. Hey! I’m Mom! I’m supposed to lie to make them feel good!
Check out this super cute video of my daughter Elle coloring a beautiful garden.
Coloring Contributes to Better Handwriting
I’m always getting lots of compliment on how well Elle and Joel hold their crayons and pencils and this is highly attributed to the ridiculous amounts of coloring they’ve done. According to ColorPsychology.org, Dexterity, hand strength and attention to detail are all required to write both printed letters and cursive script. Starting out with coloring pages early can help to develop these qualities so that writing comes more easily and naturally. I didn’t realize at the time that this would be a major benefit. But now that Joel is 5 and in school I can see the benefits coloring has had on his dexterity. Oh and let me not forget to mention that Joel is a LEFTY!
Coloring Contributes to Color Awareness, Recognition and Discernment
Now remember how I said I would call out the names of the colors they chose? I also had them repeat the names. I’d say something like:
“Oooh you’re using blue! What color are you using?” or “The leaves on trees are green, here’s green, can you say green?”
The names and hues of colors must be learned, and coloring on coloring pages fosters practice and awareness of primary and common colors as well as more nuanced color awareness of lesser-known, more subtle colors in a direct hands-on manner. But don’t just think you can stick a coloring book with crayons in front of your kids and then they will learn the names. It doesn’t work like that.
If you’re hoping your little one will be the next MVP on their college sports team you better get them on a heavy coloring routine NOW! Like at least 2 hours a day! Coordination and the ability to focus is just developing in young children, and undertaking activities to foster and strengthen this budding talent assists in efficient, healthy development. The act of holding crayons, choosing colors, implementing the color in the ideal spot and even sharpening crayons can all help with cultivating strong hand-eye coordination in youngsters.
Coloring Contributes to Improved Confidence and Self Esteem
The ability to complete a task successfully builds self esteem and confidence in young children. Coloring regularly and completing projects boosts a child’s sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves. Couple that with a mom who makes everything a big deal, I show off all their artwork to their dad, my mom cousins, sisters, brothers and everyone on social media! It’s no wonder my kids are extremely confident in themselves. I mean have you watched Elle’s YouTube channel? There’s no shortage of confidence there.
Coloring Prepares Kids for School
Children’s education takes place in a classroom with a fair amount of structure. Lessons are issued on paper via assignments, tests and other written course work. Coloring sheets, books and pages can be integral in preparing kids for the more structured work on paper ahead of them. If your child has trouble sitting still while coloring don’t go crazy. I suggest you just draw them back into the coloring book by getting really excited about nothing at all. “Oh my goodness, look at how amazing you colored the grass!!! That’s the best purple grass I’ve ever seen! Can you color the house even better than you did the grass???”
At the end of the day, coloring with your kids is fun, so do it.