Coloring does more than just entertain your child. It helps to increase fine motor skills and creativity, especially as your child is learning how to manipulate objects. Coloring also improves fine motor skills and creativity in older children and even adults!
How Does Coloring Increase Fine Motor Skills?
We've all watched our toddlers hold their crayons in a death grip and scribble all over the pages of their coloring book. Whether we see it or not, coloring involves the development of fine motor skills.
Over time, your child learns how to properly pick up a coloring utensil and how to hold it correctly. They work on their hand grip and how to handle different objects. Children learn that holding a crayon too hard will break them.
Manipulating crayons and other coloring utensils builds hand strength and fine motor skills in their wrists, hands, and finers. You don't want your child to lose their penmanship skill, so encouraging coloring skills are important.
Plus, as your child gets older, he will focus more on coloring in the lines and making properly formed pictures. That leads to his skills in writing letters and numbers later.
Coloring Stimulates Creativity
Even adults feel creative when they're coloring! Give your child opportunities to color in order to stimulate their creative juices in their mind.
When your child picks up a crayon or a marker to color, shapes, imagined stories, interpretations, and the colors all come together. That's true even if your child draws the same picture continually.
Not only does coloring encourage creativity, but it also engages independence and self-expression. Your child decides which colors they want to use, what they should draw, and how big it is. These decisions give your child, either consciously or subconsciously, the chances to express emotions.
Giving your child times to color lets him work through his emotions in a safe environment. That might be when he sits down and colors on a few coloring mats at the kitchen table or drawing trees on some blank paper.
How to Give Your Child Opportunities to Color
We mentioned using coloring mats, but there are other ways to give your child times to color throughout the day. Here are some easy opportunities.
- Leave a pile of blank paper and crayons on your table for free drawing whenever your child wants.
- Take crayons with you when you go to a restaurant.
- Grab a notebook and let your child nature journal whenever you take a walk outside.
- Show him how to make leaf rubs in a notebook.
- Buy coloring books that will either help him learn or excite him because of the characters.
- Color with your child on a regular basis.