By Sinead Hamill
I don’t know about you, but throughout my childhood years, I simply loved colouring in. Not everyone is a fan but my goodness, I’ve met some children who would sit and colour all day long if they could. There are many positive benefits, developmental and psychological,associated with colouring. I believe it is something we should offer and make available to children from a very early age.
What are some of the Benefits of Colouring?
Mindfulness: Colouring can be a very relaxing activity, allowing time for peace and calm. However it may also facilitate children in releasing emotions and may even give their adult carers an insight into their mood and energy, interpreting colours used and the way in which the child approaches the activity, i.e. are they scribbling ferociously or are they relaxed and at ease?
Preparation for School and Learning: A lot of lessons in school are based on text, pictures and workbooks. Colouring sheets can introduce children to the process of working on and learning from paper and to focus on the details presented.
Visual Awareness: Children notice and show preferences for different colours when colouring. This is a great way to introduce colour names and shades. Children will at some stage focus on lines, shapes, patterns and perspectives, an ability they will need for reading and maths.
Pincer Grip and Fine Motor Skills: Finger, hand and wrist muscles are strengthened. Fine motor movement becomes more controlled and precise. Eye-hand co-ordination becomes finely tuned. These skills are all necessary for writing, as well as other activities.
Structure and Spatial Awareness: I am all for freedom of expression when it comes to art but I believe providing children with templates or pictures to colour does not have to take away the benefits of other art activities. Indeed, children often appreciate the structure a colouring page offers. They enjoy the challenge of staying inside the lines. Young children quite often have not developed the skills and do not feel confident in their ability to draw. Whilst this skill is being practised at their own pace, they can, in the mean-time, enjoy and feel confident colouring picture templates.
Creative Planning: One picture template can convey many different feelings and tones, depending on who the colour master is at work. Children get to contribute their vision of how the picture should look, planning and choosing, colours, patterns and intensity of hand pressure applied.
Reinforces Lessons and Ideas Taught: Picture Templates are a great follow up activity to lessons taught at home or in the classroom. They encourage the child to think for longer about the lesson and because they are now actively involved in it, the ideas and images will be reinforced, promoting better learning and memory recall.
Builds Confidence and Self-Esteem: The vast majority of children love to admire their own work and feel proud for having completed something. Colour really brings the pictures to life so it is obvious to the child the difference their efforts have made to the original colourless picture and this helps them to feel a sense of accomplishment.
Socialising: Colouring contains a fun factor and the potential for social bonding. The children chat to each other about their pictures. Many times I have seen children trying to copy each other’s colouring exactly, which requires great concentration, attention to detail and lots of laughs!
If your child is currently learning the phonic sounds of the alphabet, you will be delighted to read that Rhyme Time Education has brought out a fun new Colouring Book to accompany the popular children’s Action Song CD ‘Sing a Song of Phonics’, a fun-filled CD that will keep your children dancing and entertained throughout the lessons. The twenty-six page colouring book is based on the characters from the CD, which helps to reinforce your child’s phonic learning. There is one colouring page per song and letter of the alphabet. If you’d like to find out more or purchase these products please visit our shop.