7 Big Benefits Coloring Provides for Kids
Why should kids color? It’s such a simple staple of childhood, isn’t it? Crayons, paper, and you are set for hours of fun. Or minutes of fun if you have a short attention span toddler. It is so simple. But regardless of how long you spend on it, coloring is a really beneficial activity for kids of all ages. It is a perfect example of how sometimes the classic, low tech activities are best. Recently Ben did a color by number, and I was amazed at how educational it was for him, and how fun! So I made some coloring pages that focused on two areas we have been working on, number sense and coding. Here are 7 big benefits coloring provides for kids, plus how you can take it a step further with some free coloring pages.
7 Big Benefits Coloring Provides for Kids
Coloring does more than just keep your kids quiet while you make dinner. Although that is a nice perk of it. It hits physical and mental development, and can even help children grow emotionally.
Promotes Hand-Eye Coordination
Coloring requires children to take a crayon and bring it to the paper in specific locations. This requires hand-eye coordination. You can see it develop as kids get older. Toddlers can scribble all over, and they sometimes have a hard time keeping the color on the paper. As kids get older they are able to fill in shapes better and make their own distinct pictures because they have better hand-eye coordination.
Helps Practice Proper Pencil Grip
Proper pencil grip is super important. I know, we all just type everything, but I still think it is pretty important. Coloring is a fun way to work on pencil grip. It is helpful to start with larger crayons and work your way to the regular size ones. This is a skill that develops best with practice. Hint: the triangle shape crayons are good not just because they don’t roll away, but they make it easier for kids to hold crayons in a proper grip.
Helps with Early Writing Skills
Hand-eye coordination and pencil grip add up to writing skills. Coloring helps kids get ready to write. When you color you have to control the speed of the crayon, the pressure you put on it, and the direction you steer it. These are all things we do when we write. Being able to control a crayon and get it to do what you want directly corresponds to being able to write with a pen or pencil.
Colors, Shapes, Counting, and More
Coloring is the perfect time to practice naming the colors. I know, it is so obvious, but sometimes we miss the most obvious thing. You don’t have to go crazy with a formal lesson, but name the colors as you use them. A box of crayons is perfect for practicing colors. Coloring pages are often full of shapes, making it easy to practice naming the shapes. And finally, coloring can help with counting. All this can be done in simple conversation. Ask ‘How many flowers did you color?’ or ‘Can you draw a green triangle?’ Nothing has to be prepped ahead of time, just ask a few leading questions and let your child take it from there.
Patience and Focus Skills
Coloring is a great sitting still activity. It encourages kids to slow down and focus on one specific task. It also takes patience. Learning how to color inside the lines or how to draw a straight line isn’t easy. It takes time to take the image in your head and get it down on paper, this takes patience and focused effort.
I think we all know that as adults, coloring can be quite soothing and stress relieving. That’s why adult coloring books are so popular. There is just something calming about putting color to paper. The same is true for kids. Coloring is a great way for kids to calm themselves down. They can physically vent some emotions by the act of coloring itself, putting the crayons to paper. Coloring also allows children to express their feelings in a picture when they may not have the words to explain how they feel. It is a safe way to work through emotions
This is the most obvious reason to have your kids color, but let’s not forget it. Coloring promotes creativity! Even with coloring book pages, kids control how the picture looks. Grass can be purple and the sky can be green. Blank page coloring offers even more freedom. Children can create a world as they see it, or as they simply wonder it can be. Free creative thinking is vital to growing minds, and coloring is the simplest way to do that.
Use Coloring By Number for Number Sense and Coding
Coloring can be super basic and so beneficial. But it is fun to use it for more directed learning. Recently we have been working on both number sense and coding basics. Color by number works both of these concepts.
I’ve talked about the importance of number sense before. (See: Games to Boost Number Sense (and Why That Matters) Number sense is knowing that each number has its own unique value, what that value is, and how those values can relate. Coloring by number requires children to find specific numerals and identify them, not just repeat a string of numbers. It emphasizes each number as its own unique thing.
I am also all about coding right now. (See: Simple and Fun Lego Coding Activities) Coding basics teach children to recognize patterns and think creatively. It also helps kids learn that one thing can mean another, or basically how to read a code. Color by number is one big code. Each number is assigned a color, and when those colors are applied a new picture appears.
Coloring seems like a childish pastime, but it is so much more. It really is an important activity for children of all ages to do. From working on physical motor skills to helping with emotional expression, it is crazy how many things this simple activity does. So remember you don’t have to buy the latest technology or fancy toys to teach your children. Grab some paper and some crayons and you will be helping them more than you know.
I created some fun color by number pages for Ben. They help work number sense and have all the benefits coloring gives. Ben is going into Pre-K this fall and is working hard on his writing skills. Coloring is a super fun way to do that!
I decided to add these pages to my free printable library. You can gain access to them by signing up for the Team Cartwright mailing list. When you sign up you will receive an email with the password for the library of printables. This contains science worksheets, my Lego coding pages, and alphabet and sight word cards you can use with other toys. This library also has my twin tracking pages to help in those twin baby days. Signing up also adds you to my email list, which you can, of course, unsubscribe from at any point.