Aimee Sheppard June 22, 2019 Uncategorized
So your child came home from school with yet another picture she drew of you and her holding hands. While the scribbles are cute, have you ever found yourself wondering if they’re really an important part of school? Are they actually supporting the academic atmosphere? The answer is YES, coloring is important in early childhood education for a lot of reasons!
One of the biggest reasons coloring is important at this age is because it helps develop hand strength. As adults, we’ve been writing, typing, and doing fine motor skills for decades which means we take our hand strength for granted. Toddlers and preschoolers, however, are just beginning to build those muscles. Hand strength is important for all hand-related fine motor skills, especially handwriting. Writing takes strength and dexterity, and coloring helps exercise these muscles. Hand strength will also support your child’s proper pencil grip.
Coloring is also calming and therapeutic for kids, especially if they have no other outlet for unpleasant or confusing emotions. Even kids who fall into the “normal” range of emotional health can benefit from processing their feelings, frustrations and emotions though the simple but profound act of coloring. Most kids love to color, and it turns out it’s more than just a recreational activity. It can also foster physical and psychological development in a range of areas. Get your kids started with coloring as early as possible, and you’ll contribute to a lifetime of positive benefits.
Coloring is becoming accepted within a University setting as a tool for students to maintain focus. Theresa Cinderella, a student studying art therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. said that “A lot of my fellow graduate classmates bring these coloring books into the classroom setting as a tool to focus more on lectures.” She explained that more professors are beginning to welcome this behavior. “For my internship, I find the clients who are fidgeting and cannot sit still ask for coloring in books in order to concentrate on group discussions.”
Do not fret if your kids are not coloring properly or if he is coloring outside the lines. Praise them for his effort. If you see your kids making mistakes while coloring, help them with it instead of chiding. Teach him how to fill a space and do up and down stroke. You can also teach him to use complementary colors to make the picture appear more vibrant. Coloring is also an excellent medium of expression. Children often express their personality through drawing and coloring.
Coloring can have a profoundly therapeutic and calming effect on children as they shift their focus to concentrate on finishing their picture. This peaceful activity can provide an outlet for processing emotions and take the focus off challenging situations. Filling in the spaces with color on a printed page helps children to recognize hue, perspective, shape and form as well as giving them an opportunity to explore different color combinations.
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