The benefits of coloring pages:
1) Self expression - coloring on a blank "canvas" (paper), is a way for children and adults 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 utilize, etc. It is very important to offer children a possibility to express themselves, and not all children express themselves through words and through writing, many usage art.
2) Color recognition
3) Therapy - for lots of people (myself included) coloring is restorative. No matter whether it's doodling, or coloring the "best image ever", coloring can be a way to de-stress, after a busy morning of school work, unwind, and calm down, after the tensions of a day at school or work.
4) Grip/Control - many children discover how to hold a pencil, pen, marker, or colored pencil, by very first knowing how to hold a crayon. The small muscles needed for penmanship later start to be established while coloring.
6) Structure motor skills
7) Focus - Paying attention to a single job for a length of time is necessary for coloring and for all sorts of things throughout one's life.
8) Limits - Another thing that children gain from coloring pages, with preprinted photos on them, is how to accept limits. While a young child or preschooler might doodle all over a coloring sheet, without any respect for the limits (lines on the coloring page), as the child gets older, they will start to respect those lines, and make an effort to color between them. While I encourage blank paper coloring for free expression as often as possible, for many young children pre-printed coloring pages are their very first direct exposure to printed limits. This early direct exposure to limits in print, will be a big help when handwriting time comes around, and the child needs to respect the limits of the preprinted handwriting lines on the paper.
9) Milestone - This is the last little "importance" of coloring that I will mention for now, which is that coloring in the lines is a turning point, a sense of accomplishment, the initial step towards a successful academic profession for many children. For many children coloring in the lines is just as important as counting to 10, counting to 100, reciting the alphabet, discovering the multiplication truths, etc. It's a turning point that states "yes I can" do whatever I stumble upon, and it provides children with pride, a sense of self worth, and assists them to feel accepted in a society that is often fast to judge, and slow to respond. This sense of accomplishment will carry them through life, and help them not to give up so quickly, when something brand-new comes along.
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