Why Does My Child Color in School?
Did you know that coloring has an amazing positive affect on your child’s development? In fact, coloring can provide lifelong benefits for your child. Intentional coloring activities are used frequently in the primary grades in academic and homework activities. Coloring is not only a great way to engage students and provide a fun method of learning, coloring also provides the following amazing benefits!
In order to correctly hold and write with a pencil, students need to develop strength and dexterity. Coloring is a fun way to help students develop this strength which translates into neater handwriting and correct pencil grip. Coloring strengthens the small muscles in the hand and wrist, which develops their fine motor skills. This too leads to better handwriting and the ability to write for longer periods of time which is necessary in the upper grade levels.
Fights Cognitive Loss
Yes, you read that correctly! Coloring, especially detailed, challenging coloring pages, can actually help to prevent cognitive loss. This is because coloring activates parts of the brain tied to cognition and memory and helps to strengthen those areas. There is also a great deal of focus required to correctly color a page, remaining within the lines. Students who spend more time coloring have been shown to have greater focus and concentration. This leads to a great positive impact academically.
Hand and Eye Coordination
Coloring requires students to manipulate the pencil and color within specific spaces. The ability to color neatly within the lines helps to develop students’ hand and eye coordination.
Relaxation & Patience
For many students, coloring is a relaxing activity. It allows them to slow down and spend time creating something based on their choices in color and design. Coloring can also help relax students as it provides an outlet for releasing negative emotions in a positive way. When upset or experiencing difficult emotions, students are often encouraged to color as a way of calming down and expressing their feelings. Coloring also takes patience. There is no immediate gratification, which many students are used to in this age of technology. Developing patience is not only an important skill in school but also beyond school.
Coloring provides a great opportunity to engage students in conversations about line, perspective, hue, shape, and form. This helps to build vocabulary in a fun and natural way. Conversations about what the student colored and why helps to reinforce oral language skill such as stating opinions, providing reasons to support their opinions, and speaking in complete sentences. This is a comfortable way to encourage students to engage in conversations that utilize many academic skills outside of the specific academic subject.
Our world is very technology driven with a lot of time spent on a variety of devices that
provide easy access to entertainment from TV shows to video games. While these activities are incredibly engaging, they do not help to develop children’s creativity like coloring activities can. Developing that creativity helps students to think outside the box, problem solve, and become their generations’ entrepreneurs. In the classroom, free choice coloring is used to foster students’ creativity and allow them the space to create without any limitations.