Coloring for kids: What’s the big deal?
During my very first Parent-Teacher Conference that took place when my son was three years old, the teacher ended the session by asking us to encourage my child to do more coloring at home.
Back then, my son wasn’t interested in coloring and he put in little effort for his coloring work in school.
The teacher showed me his work and I saw messy scribbling all over.
To be honest, I didn’t think that coloring was really important.
My child’s language skills are rather advanced for his age and I didn’t think it was a big deal that he wasn’t interested in coloring.
But ultimately, I did take up the teacher’s advice to get my child to practice on his coloring skills that school holidays.
My point to my son was that he needed to learn to put in his best effort in all his work, regardless of his interest.
Even if he didn’t like the particular activity, he should still have a positive learning attitude to try his best.
Besides, more practice can only help him get better at it!
So, color we did!
The most amazing thing is, my son actually took the lesson to heart, and his coloring work significantly improved the next term in school!
When he brought home his work to show me, he actually said, “Mommy, I did my best!”
And that was a proud mommy moment for me, knowing that my child actually listened and learned!
Pin me to your kids’ activities boards!
Why is coloring for kids so important?
Learning to hold the pencil is actually a very important milestone for mastering fine motor skills at the toddler/preschooler age.
But seems like it is getting more common to see toddlers using their fingers on the iPad even before they know how to hold a pencil!
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For the preschoolers, learning to color involves:
1. using fine motor skills for the pencil grip
2. hand-eye coordination (especially when they learn not to color outside the lines)
3. honing concentration skills (yes, I consider the ability to focus and hold attention in completing an activity a very important life skill that needs to be nurtured from young!)
4. creativity and expression (who says a picture of the elephant has to be grey? It can be colorful or even polka-dotted as your child fancies!)
For older children, getting back to the joy of coloring helps them with:
1. creativity and expression
2. exercising dexterity (they no doubt know how to write and color with a pencil, but how about using paintbrushes? Or finger painting?)
3. exploration (explore using different mediums to paint! Watercolors, markers, crayons, sponges, brushes etc)
Basically, the possibilities with a coloring activity are endless!
Teach your child about primary and secondary colors, help them explore mixing colors and using different mediums.
How about using sponges with paint? Vegetable printing? Color with crayons and then paint over? Using glitter glue? Tube paints? Fluorescent paints?
Get creative and imaginative! That’s how a simple coloring activity can get really fun and ENGAGING!
Pin me to your kids’ activities boards!
Engage your child through a coloring activity.
Don’t just suggest what your child can do during the coloring activity, JOIN IN!
Oh, and don’t forget to put up some of your child’s creation up on display! It could be on the wall, closet or fridge.
Putting up their creation builds their sense of confidence and pride in their work.
It also provides a constant reminder of the fun time that they had with YOU in producing the special piece of artwork together!
If your older child thinks the idea of coloring isn’t cool, then you most certainly need to make it cool!
If you don’t mind spending some money, purchase some new coloring tools.
Children usually cannot resist seeing and using new items.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should buy something new every time you want to engage your child in a coloring activity. It is not practical and does not encourage the value of thriftiness.
Anyway, to help you start the ball rolling on engaging your kids with coloring, here are 30+ FREE coloring pages for kids.
These are pages of the kids’ favorite cartoon characters to get your children excited about coloring with you!
The coloring pages include PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, Minions and more!
So what’s your kids’ favorite no-screen activity? Is it coloring and craft-related?
Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!
For more ideas on how to engage your child in more meaningful ways through screen-free activities for families, check out our 5-part series Engage Without Gadgets Challenge!