“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”P. Picasso
After I wrote about the benefits of nighttime reading with your child in this post, I began to explore the benefits of children’s coloring books. I want to acknowledge the subtle and not-so-subtle benefits of children’s coloring books.
Children’s coloring books can reinforce many of the same themes that children’s books can. Are they a 1:1 substitute for school textbooks? Of course not, but we already knew that!
Read on to discover what other amazing benefits coloring books provide to children.
Adult coloring is now considered to be a therapeutic and beneficial mindfulness activity for adults. However, there are some differences between the benefits of adult coloring vs the benefits to children. Said briefly, adult coloring books are usually focused on health and wellness.
Let’s take a look shall we? Read on to discover the obvious and perhaps not-so-obvious benefits of coloring books for children!
Coloring books help develop fine motor skills. For young children, correct finger grip. Learning to color within the lines has the associative benefits of developing coordination skills.
Coloring in coloring books can easily be added to a child’s day, just like putting together puzzles, building with blocks, drawing/sketching, and writing. All of these activities promote hand-eye coordination and fine motor development.
Speaking of easily adding to a child’s day, coloring books are great for indoor (rainy day or travel day) activities. So, the convenience factor is, of course, nice at times when we want to have a device-free activity option available.
Coloring books help develop a child’s focus. As a child takes more time to complete a coloring book page, you may notice that the coloring becomes more complex. Developing the ability to focus is important, and that development of focus will serve a child throughout his or her lifetime as he or she will use focus to see projects from soup to nuts.
Creativity is intelligence having fun.A. Einstein
Coloring books can nurture creativity. Beyond color and medium selection (crayon, pencil, marker, or paint), some coloring books include activity sections meant to foster creativity such as DIY drawing.
Coloring books also pique curiosity. I recently came across a coloring book on ancient art, car and truck engines, and a coloring book on our solar system on Amazon. The sky is the limit!
Encouraging and welcoming curiosity is instrumental to learning. When curious, we are much more likely to remember what we learned about that subject and have the drive to understand all the possibilities that come out of an idea. There is something to be said for making learning well varied and fun. And there is something to be said about piquing a child’s curiosity.
Just like reading children’s books, coloring books that are inclusive and reflect diversity can also be beneficial in encouraging a positive self-identity. Also, just like in children’s books coloring books where children see themselves represented, coloring books allow children to spend time engaging characters (by coloring) that they can relate to and help them make connections about their own identities. At some point, everyone was a child and can probably relate to wanting to feel like they belong and wanting to feel valued for their identity.
Coloring books have the ability, just like books, to promote cultural and racial tolerance through children seeing themselves as the characters in the images.
Coloring books can inclusive in representing the different types of family models. I include this as a separate benefit for those families that may be single parent families or same sex parent families. Reflecting the correct family model is really important and just like books, coloring books for these family models have the same need to include characters with whom the child can identify and make important connections about their own identities as well as their birth story of how they came to be within that family.
While coloring books are not meant to replace class room text books coloring books can be excellent supplements to what is learned in a classroom.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.Maya Angelou
Are there any benefits that you would like to see mentioned?
I would love to hear from you if I missed any benefits to coloring in coloring books! Be sure to drop me a line!
Are you interested in children’s books that promote diversity and inclusion but also cover your unique family’s birth narrative? Join me in the companion series The ABC’s of How You Had Me! This series of books was written for donor-conceived children and their parents. The ABC’s of How You Had Me includes themes of space exploration and various family models wrapped into a sweet children’s story meant to explain donor conception and assisted reproduction.
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