The advantages of coloring pages:
1) Self expression - coloring on a blank "canvas" (notepad), is a method for children and adults alike to reveal themselves. You can tell a lot about the method an individual is feeling by the images that they draw, the colors that they use, etc. It is necessary to offer children an opportunity to reveal themselves, and not all children reveal themselves through words and through writing, many use art.
2) Color recognition
3) Treatment - for lots of people (myself consisted of) coloring is restorative. No matter whether it's doodling, or coloring the "best photo ever", coloring can be a method to de-stress, after a busy morning of school work, wind down, and calm down, after the stresses of a day at school or work.
4) Grip/Control - many children learn how to hold a pencil, pen, marker, or colored pencil, by very first learning how to hold a crayon. The small muscles needed for penmanship later begin to be developed while coloring.
6) Structure motor skills
7) Focus - Paying attention to a single job for a length of time is needed for coloring and for all sorts of things throughout one's life.
8) Limits - Another thing that children gain from coloring pages, with preprinted pictures on them, is how to accept boundaries. While a toddler or young child might doodle all over a coloring sheet, with no respect for the boundaries (lines on the coloring page), as the child grows older, they will begin to respect those lines, and make an effort to color in between them. While I motivate blank paper coloring for free expression as typically as possible, for many preschoolers pre-printed coloring pages are their very first exposure to printed boundaries. This early exposure to boundaries in print, will be a huge aid when handwriting time comes around, and the child needs to respect the boundaries of the preprinted handwriting lines on the paper.
9) Milestone - This is the last little "value" of coloring that I will discuss in the meantime, which is that coloring in the lines is a milestone, a sense of achievement, the initial step towards a successful scholastic career for many children. For many children coloring in the lines is just as important as counting to 10, counting to 100, reciting the alphabet, finding out the reproduction facts, etc. It's a milestone that says "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 typically quick to judge, and slow to respond. This sense of achievement will bring them through life, and help them not to quit so quickly, when something brand-new occurs.
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