The benefits of coloring pages:
1) Self expression - coloring on a blank "canvas" (paper), is a method for children and grownups alike to express themselves. You can tell a lot about the way an individual is feeling by the images that they draw, the colors that they use, etc. It is important to offer children a chance to express themselves, and not all children express themselves through words and through writing, many use art.
2) Color acknowledgment
3) Therapy - for many people (myself included) coloring is restorative. Regardless of whether it's doodling, or coloring the "best photo ever", coloring can be a method to de-stress, after a hectic early morning of school work, wind down, and calm down, after the stresses of a day at school or work.
4) Grip/Control - many children find out how to hold a pencil, pen, marker, or colored pencil, by very first knowing how to hold a crayon. The little muscles required for penmanship later on begin to be developed while coloring.
6) Structure motor skills
7) Focus - Focusing on a single job for a length of time is necessary for coloring and for all sorts of things throughout one's life.
8) Boundaries - Another thing that children learn from coloring pages, with preprinted photos on them, is how to accept boundaries. While a young child or preschooler might scribble all over a coloring sheet, without any respect for the boundaries (lines on the coloring page), as the child ages, they will begin to appreciate those lines, and make an effort to color in between them. While I motivate blank paper coloring for free expression as often as possible, for many young children pre-printed coloring pages are their very first exposure to printed boundaries. This early exposure to boundaries in print, will be a huge help when handwriting time happens, and the child needs to appreciate the boundaries of the preprinted handwriting lines on the paper.
9) Turning point - This is the last little "importance" of coloring that I will discuss for now, which is that coloring in the lines is a turning point, a sense of achievement, the first step towards a successful scholastic career for many children. For many children coloring in the lines is simply as essential as counting to 10, counting to 100, reciting the alphabet, learning the reproduction facts, etc. It's a turning point that says "yes I can" do whatever I come across, and it offers children with pride, a sense of self worth, and assists them to feel accepted in a society that is often quick to judge, and slow to react. This sense of achievement will bring them through life, and help them not to quit so quickly, when something new comes along.
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