Colour Your World
Cast your mind back to the days when you lay on the floor with a colouring book and a box of brightly coloured pencils. For a while, it was just you and the page in front of you. Choosing a colour. Deciding what to colour first. Carefully colouring the area you chose. Finally, you were done. Remember that feeling of satisfaction when you ran to show someone your work of art?
Colouring is more than just have a fun activity that gives children hours of creative expression, it’s also an important part of their development. Here’s why.
From Eye to Hand
When children start to colour, their eyes are hard at work telling their hands and fingers where to go. Colouring is an excellent way to improve eye-hand coordination, which can greatly affect colouring and writing. Colouring with one hand while holding the page with the other develops bi-lateral coordination.
Build Muscle Power
Motor skills are all about developing muscles. It takes effort to hold a pencil and colour a page. While colouring, children are practicing holding a writing tool, improving hand strength, and learning to regulate the amount of force needed to create darker or lighter shades. Not only does it strengthen the hand, it strengthens the shoulder, too. This is great preparation for when they tackle fine motor skills such as writing.
On the face of it, colouring seems like such a relaxing activity. Yet it is building cognitive skills—core skills such as thinking, focusing, and concentrating that the brain uses to carry out a wide variety of activities. While colouring, children are recognizing colours, lines, and shapes. Recognizing shapes is the first step in reading and maths.
Colouring is a good way to teach children to plan ahead. They can look at the picture of the page and decide where they should begin, what colour to use for each part, and pay attention to detail. That feeling of satisfaction when they have coloured the entire page and completed the task is very motivating and will encourage them to do another—and another!
Between the Lines
Colouring pages helps children learn about boundaries. Simply put, staying within the lines. This is helpful when learning to write. While it creates a sense of structure, it also leaves room for creativity. Give the same drawing to different children and you will see how their personalities come into play in the colours they choose and how they colour the page.
What’s that Word?
Colouring books that include words offer the opportunity to start a conversation. Let’s take one of the world’s most loved animals, the dog. Ask whether they like dogs. What do they like about dogs? What do dogs like to do? What other animals does they like? Can they name any other animals that begin with the letter “d”? Colouring is not only fun, it can start a conversation, teach children about the world around them, and help them develop some important skills along the way.
Learn more about colours with the Helen Doron Song Club on YouTube