We’re sure you’ve seen no end to the coloring activities on offer for children, but do you know why coloring in is good for your children?
Parents and educators often aim to provide kids with fun and creative activities that are not only engaging but also beneficial for children’s development, and it's no surprise that our activity of choice at eatsleepdoodle is always coloring!
But did you know that coloring is much more than just random doodling and filling in the lines? In our online-heavy world of screens and tablets, coloring makes for a great screen-free activity as well as offering a wide range of benefits that can help children develop, grow and learn.
Read on to learn more about what coloring can be good for and how coloring can help a child's development.
Enhancing fine motor skills
Research has shown that coloring and drawing help children gain better control and dexterity with their hands and helps kids to improve their fine motor skills. When coloring, children have to use precise movements and coordinate small muscles in their fingers and hands as they grasp markers or crayons and move them across the paper – they’re refining their fine motor skills even if they aren't staying within the lines!
This development of motor skills is important for children when learning how to write and is also beneficial for other activities such as helping children to tie their shoelaces, and even teaching kids how to use tableware.
To stimulate children's creativity and imagination
Coloring in provides an amazing opportunity for children to express their creativity and explore their imagination! Unlike other structured activities, coloring lets children make their own choices and gives them freedom to choose their own colors and create their own patterns. This freedom encourages children to think outside the box and sparks inspiration!
We’re sure you’ve seen mindful adult coloring books or even had a go yourself at a DIY craft-kit, so it must come as no surprise that encouraging creativity is also known to have additional benefits for children other than their artistic abilities for example, helping to improve children’s problem-solving skills and reducing anxiety and stress.
Developing children's concentration and focus
In a digital age, our focus is dwindling and getting information or enjoyment from short clips or images seems to be the norm. But challenging your mind and focusing for longer has overall benefits to your concentration.
Coloring can be a calming and meditative activity for children and is a great screen-free alternative. When engaged in coloring, kids learn to focus on the task at hand, paying attention to the details of the design and staying within the lines. This process trains their brain to concentrate and block out distractions, enhancing their ability to concentrate on other activities. Research has even shown that coloring can help calm children and improve their behavior and performance at school.
Encouraging self-expression and emotional well-being
We’ve all asked the question, is coloring in therapeutic? Research shows that coloring provides children with a space to safely express their emotions and thoughts visually. Whether they choose bright and vibrant colors or opt for more subtle shades, their color choices can reflect their mood and personality.
Coloring may also allow children to communicate their feelings and experiences, providing a healthy outlet for emotional expression. It can also serve as a therapeutic activity, helping them relax and relieve stress. Charlotte Clark from The Happy Human Project is a huge advocate of looking after children's mental health and wellbeing, and really encourages the use of doodling and coloring to help children manage and process big emotions. Check out one of our previous blogs to read more about Charlotte’s theory on how drawing helps conquer the 'Emotion Monsters'.
Boosting children's cognitive development
You may be wondering, how does coloring help a child's intellectual development? We know that coloring in can help reduce stress but it can also boost children's cognitive development, honing in on skills useful for school, learning and everyday life.
Coloring involves cognitive processes such as recognizing shapes, patterns and different colors. By doing coloring in activities, children can learn how to differentiate between shades of colors and develop their sense of spatial awareness. This article from Michigan State University touches on how practicing these skills supports children's overall cognitive development; and helps them develop their mathematic skills by learning basic math and new concepts such as size and counting, and also how talking about their artwork can improve their language skills.
Additionally, coloring can also introduce kids to new concepts such as cause and effect. For example, a child can experiment with what happens when they press hard vs press lightly when coloring and the difference between using a thick or thin pen. This allows children to explore the consequences of different actions, all through a fun activity as simple as coloring!
At eatsleepdoodle we design each of our products with these benefits in mind. Educating, supporting, and encouraging creativity is at the heart of our business. We want to provide children with space to explore their imagination and create freely (and endlessly!).
From our wash-out fabric markers which are double-ended for extra versatility to encouraging self-expression, we think it’s important that there is reusable coloring fun for everyone! Knowing as well, how coloring stimulates creativity and the long-term benefits this has for a child’s development, we want every child to be able to dive into their imagination and learn – which is why all of our color in and wash out gifts are created with education in mind! Kids can read and discover more about the design their coloring on our learning resource page.
Coloring-in is far more than just a fun activity for children (and adults!). From enhancing fine motor skills to stimulating creativity, improving children's concentration to boosting cognitive abilities, research has shown that coloring in has lots of different benefits for children and can be a valuable tool for your little one’s development. So, whether it’s scribbling or precise, on paper or a placemat grab those markers and get coloring!