Introducing the activity of coloring in coloring books to children at the early years of their life is a must for parents. This activity benefits children in three different aspects: physically, cognitively, and emotionally. It’s very helpful in their development and growth. But the parents would probably wonder: “At what age is a good start for kids to start coloring in coloring books?”
So What’s the Right Age for Kids to Start Coloring in Coloring Books?
The typical stage where kids should start coloring in coloring books would be around their toddler years. It is important for parents to acquaint their kids with it around that stage because it is when kids need the practice for their physical and cognitive development. And this also works for emotional processing and expression. All of those matters, we will delve into later in this article. But let us first answer the previous question.
Exactly what age parents should let their kids start coloring in coloring books would depend on their kids’ potential and willingness to do coloring. So it is up to the parents to observe their kids. Parents are going to have to test the water first and see if their kids would immerse themselves into this new activity introduced to them. If the enthusiasm is evident in the kids, then it is a sign that the kids are ready for coloring.
However, if kids would only end up shoving the crayons into their mouths or tearing the papers, then parents can give it another shot after a few months. Kids will eventually just pick the activity up and get the hang of it. Soon, it would become an enjoyable pastime for them.
While some kids would be inclined to coloring in coloring books at around 9 to 10 months, other kids would take longer to get into it. Other kids might only feel like coloring when they turn one year old. Some, even later than that. But parents should not worry about it or rush their kids into coloring. The time when their kids would want to give coloring a shot would just come.
How to Get Kids Started on Coloring in Coloring Books
Parents would have to make some preparations before they let their kids start coloring. But parents need not fret, as there isn’t a lot to do, and this article will give tips on how to prepare for the first time their kids will color. There are only four things that they have to provide, which are the perfect coloring books and coloring materials as well as their guidance and support in their kids’ coloring, of course. And what are the perfect coloring books and coloring materials for first-timers and what to do to guide them are discussed below.
Choose Coloring Books Suitable For Beginners
For beginners, advisable would be coloring books that feature simple illustrations that are designed with big shapes and outlines. Parents wouldn’t want their kids to feel overwhelmed on their kids’ first time in coloring. So it’s best to provide their kids coloring books with that kind of pictures. Those pictures would be easier for their kids to color.
Intricately designed pictures are more suitable for the more skilled kids. When parents notice a big improvement in their kids’ coloring, that is when they can give their kids more complex coloring books to color.
Provide the Perfect Coloring Materials
The perfect coloring materials parents could provide their kids with would be the coloring materials their kids feel most comfortable using. Providing the coloring materials their kids are comfortable with would help make their kids’ first time in coloring much easier. Parents should offer coloring materials of different kinds and sizes and see which one their kids best work with.
While a lot of kids prefer the big ones, as they allow a better grip, some kids prefer the smaller ones for coloring with better precision to not go past the outlines. Not all kids have the same preference. Parents can let their kids try either crayons, color pencils, markers, or paint and paintbrush ranging from differing sizes, whether small or big, skinny or thick. From there, kids can select their preferred coloring materials.
Guide Kids in Their First Time to Color in Coloring Books
It’s the parents’ job to guide their children in doing new activities like coloring in coloring books. Especially as kids are still unskilled and underdeveloped, kids will definitely need the help of their parents. In order for kids’ first time to actually color be a success, parents have to teach and supervise their kids as their kids color. But the coloring doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. It will eventually improve in the long run with practice.
The first thing that parents would have to do is to teach their kids how to properly hold a crayon or any other coloring material of their kids’ choice. They’d have to take the coloring material, place it in their kids’ hand, and help form their kids’ hand in the correct position that is the tripod grasp.
As beginners, kids would not know how to move a crayon around a page, let alone how to keep the colors inside the outlines. Parents would have to show their kids how to do those things. And an excellent way to do that would be by doing the hand-over-hand technique. It is an effective and easy-to-do technique in teaching kids how to color. Parents would just have to put their hand over their kids’ hand and guide their kids in coloring, showing how to move the hand while keeping the colors within the outlines.
Apart from the hand-over-hand technique, another helpful technique in making kids keep the colors inside the outlines is by emphasizing the outlines in the pictures. For example, if your kid wants to color a particular portion red, you can trace the edges of that portion with the color red with added pressure to make a darker shade. It would serve as a mark that indicates that would be the endpoint of their coloring in that portion. Or parents may also go three-dimensional for outline tracing with the use of glue. Once the glue dries, it would be protruding and would help prevent kids from going past the outlines.
While parents are teaching their kids how to color, it would be good to also teach their kids the different colors. For example, when their kids take out a crayon from the box of crayons, parents can point out what color it is. Or later on, they can even let their kids name the color their kids are using.
Boost Kids' Morale by Showing Support in Their Coloring
It can be very motivating for kids when parents show support in what they are doing. So alongside the guidance parents should give their kids in coloring, they should also show support in their kids’ coloring. Parents can compliment their kids’ job well done. And when they notice an improvement in their kids’ work, they can reward their kids with new and more intricately designed coloring books. It would be more challenging for kids but at the same time more fun, that they would be thrilled to do more coloring and do even better.
Why Is It Important to Introduce Coloring in Coloring Books to Kids
Introducing coloring in coloring books to kids does not only give them a new recreational activity. It also gives them an opportunity for development both physically and cognitively. And that helps equip them with skills that will allow them to execute with more ease daily activities and the activities that they will soon do in preschool. In addition, apart from its benefits on kids’ physical and cognitive development, this also benefits them emotionally.
It’s amazing how an activity as simple as coloring in coloring books can give as many benefits as the loads of fun it can bring to kids. So that explains why introducing coloring in coloring books to kids is important. Below you can read the many benefits kids can get from coloring in coloring books.
Develops Kids Physically
Hand strength, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination are three physical skills that are necessary for doing different physical activities. Unfortunately, kids are not born excellent in those skills. That’s where coloring in coloring books comes in—to help in developing those skills.
Coloring the pictures in coloring books means kids would have to keep the colors within the outlines. And that works on all three skills simultaneously. Because kids would try to control their hand movements in compliance with what they see in the pictures to keep the colors within the outlines, so their hand-eye coordination would get enhanced. While they’re at it, their fingers, hands, and wrists would be exercised, thus strengthening the small muscles in those areas. And as the muscles are strengthened, their hand movements become more refined, meaning their fine motor skills get improved.
When kids often engage in coloring in coloring books, hand strength, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination will be fine-tuned. And not only will they do better in coloring but also be able to do any task with more ease like eating with a spoon and fork, brushing their teeth, buttoning their shirt, etc. This would also make them more prepared for preschool activities when they get enrolled in the future like writing, drawing, etc.
Develops Kids Cognitively
Although coloring in coloring books may seem just like a carefree activity, there is some brain activity going on in there too. Starting from deciding how to creatively color the pictures, to selecting the crayon colors to use, to coloring in the spaces in the pictures, and even to the sight of the contents of the coloring books can stimulate their thinking or give them knowledge.
When coloring, kids would want to make a pretty picture to show their parents. So the first thing they would do when coloring is to think well on how they can make a picture look appealing. They would carefully choose what colors they can use that would go well together. This not only makes them think but also helps them learn about planning and organizing. Ultimately, their careful thought on how they will color helps develop their creativity.
Kids would also aim to color within the lines to make their parents proud. So through coloring in coloring books, they would also learn about boundaries. The outlines that kids try not to color outside of are what help teach them about boundaries. And when they know about boundaries, they would also gain spatial abilities.
Having spatial abilities means having an understanding of spatial relationships between different objects. That also means parents won’t have to worry about their kids coloring the table by accident when their kids color in coloring books. Moreover, spatial abilities are actually important in any life situation. So developing spatial abilities would be very helpful for kids in situations like being in a new environment that they would be familiarizing themselves with such as a new classroom, putting their school supplies inside their school bag, looking at the mirror to properly comb their hair, etc.
It’s interesting to note that studies have found that spatial abilities have a correlation with proficiency in particular skills, namely in creativity and in math as well as in many STEM fields like meteorology, architecture, and engineering.
Apart from the development of different skills in kids, coloring in coloring books can also teach kids different topics and even reading and spelling. Many coloring books are designed for educational purposes as well. Educational coloring books can teach kids about careers, animals, alphabets, etc. As kids spill their creativity in their coloring books, they can also absorb the different information presented in their coloring books.
There are also coloring books that present words in the designs of the pictures for coloring. Such coloring books help teach kids how to read and to spell.
Of course, there is also the need for parent’s involvement in their kids’ coloring in order for children to effectively learn from the coloring books. Although it’s understandable that parents may not always have the time to help in the learning process, they can at least try to help their kids from time to time. Doing learning exercises while their kids are coloring is one way parents can help in their kids’ learning. Parents can educate their kids about the contents of the pictures being colored. Or they can also encourage their kids to say some things about the contents in the pictures.
Aside from being a fun, developmental activity for kids, coloring in coloring books is also therapeutic. It can be very relaxing for kids, as when they focus on filling in pictures with colors, a calm mood can also be infused in them. Stroke after stroke of their crayons on the pictures, they can forget the negative emotions they have experienced. In addition, kids can also vent and process their emotions and thoughts by means of coloring in coloring books. So it can serve as an emotional relief for kids when they are going through negative experiences.
Kickstart Your Kids’ Coloring With Elizabeth Shelby’s Coloring Books
Renowned author of kids’ coloring books, Elizabeth Shelby has the perfect coloring books in store for beginners aged three to eight years old in her collection. Shelby’s collection of coloring books are designed according to different age groups’ coloring capabilities. There are coloring books with simple designs with big shapes and outlines for the little kids and coloring books with more complex designs with intricate details for the big kids. So for parents who are planning to introduce coloring to their little three-year-olds and up, you can find in Shelby’s collection the right coloring books for your little first-timers.
One concern of parents when introducing coloring in coloring books to their kids though, would be whether or not their kids would like doing it. One suggestion to ensure that their kids would enjoy coloring would be to select coloring books containing pictures that their kids are interested in. Shelby created her coloring books with different themes that are popular to little kids, particularly unicorn, mermaid, fairy, and careers. In addition, Shelby’s coloring books contain as many as 50 pages, so kids can have fun for hours. Little three to eight-year-olds will surely love Shelby’s coloring books designed for them.
Coloring in coloring books definitely is an excellent way for kids to pass time. Not only can kids enjoy this recreational activity, but they can also benefit from it in many ways, not only during their childhood years. It also serves as a foundation for their development and learning, which really helps in the long run. It is good to introduce this activity at a young age. So parents, make the wise move and get your kids some coloring materials and take some of Shelby’s coloring books from the books list at letscolorimaginations.com to introduce the wonderful activity of coloring in coloring books to your kids.