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Advantages of Coloring Activities in Children

Coloring is one of those wonderful, classic children’s activities that is adored by many. But there’s a lot more going on than just getting color on paper- while colouring, children are secretly learning and developing a whole array of skills.

Perhaps the most talked about benefit in recent years has been how coloring can help with anxiety and stress. It is thought that by focusing on coloring you allow your brain (in particular the amygdala- which is in charge of sending distress signals to the hypothalamus) to rest, therefore reducing stress levels. This benefit might explain the increase in adult coloring book sales over the last few years.

In my experience, coloring in can be very therapeutic and relaxing for many children- in particular for some children with ADHD & autism. It can be a fantastic tool to provide children with space and time to process events and calm themselves.

Other Benefits of Coloring Include:

Encouraging Creativity:

While coloring, children learn about lines, shapes, colors and patterns. They can then replicate these in their own artwork. They are also practicing useful pencil skills to enable them to start to draw their own pictures.

Cultivates Focus and Attention to Detail:

Children often want to make their colouring as perfect as they can. In order to do this they need to pay attention to the detail of the picture and focus on where the borders/lines are.

Develops Fine Motor Skills and Hand strength:

Using pencil crayons and other coloring implements is a fine motor skill activity- as it requires the development of the tiny muscles in the hands and fingers. Fine motor skills are essential for learning to write, using knives and forks etc. Colouring can also build up stamina in hand strength as children grip onto the pencil for reasonably long periods of time. Children can also develop hand strength when experimenting with pressure of the crayon on paper I.e ‘How hard do I need to press to get a darker colour?’

Broadens Knowledge of Colour Names:

Often without even realising it, children expand their understanding of colour names when colouring. In particular verbally through asking for coloured crayons and describing their picture.

Opportunity to Practice Social Skills:

Coloring can be a brilliant activity for children to complete with friends. Sharing crayons and discussing which areas to colour help children practise important social skills such as taking turns and negotiating.

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