Little kids, at their very young age, have a lot of developmental milestones ahead of them. The primary developmental milestones to be achieved early in their lives are very important to develop, as they serve as the foundation for their further growth. Providing your child with some coloring books can help fine-tune their fine motor skills and cognitive skills, which are essential in the usual daily activities and school.

When kids frequently engage in coloring in coloring books, parents can notice the improvement of their kids’ coloring. From coloring in directionless motions with some colors going past the lines, their kids’ coloring becomes more controlled, resulting in even coloring that stays within the lines. This is usually achieved by kids aged three to five years old. This achievement of theirs brings for their parents a moment of pride in them, that their work deserves a spot on the fridge. 

However, parents must not worry too much if their kids still aren’t able to keep their coloring within the lines. Each child has their own time in the progression of their skills. It’s not advisable to force it on their kids either. Because instead that kids would have fun with coloring in coloring books, the activity would feel tedious for them. Although if a child still can’t keep their coloring within the lines by the time they’ve reached first grade, it would be necessary to speak with their teacher and pediatrician to see if there is a need for a vision test or any other assessment.

Elizabeth Shelby, the author of the collection of coloring books available on this website, has always been passionate about child development aside from creating art. Shelby created her coloring books with age-appropriate designs to aid in children’s development. Her coloring books come in separate versions for the four to eight-year-old age group and eight to twelve-year-old age group, with the former having simpler designs and the latter with more complex designs. So as kids age and progress in their coloring skills, they can move on to the next version.

With kids’ different interests in mind, Shelby also created her coloring books in various themes. There are the fairy-themed coloring books for fairy fans namely the Enchanted Fairy World Coloring Book and Fairy Coloring Book. For mermaid lovers, there’s the Mermaid Coloring Book. Unicorn-obsessed kids might be interested in the Unicorn Coloring Book. And then there are the interesting career-oriented coloring books namely the I Can Be Anything I Want to Be Careers Coloring Book and Zentangle Designs Careers Coloring Book that can instill in kids the idea of careers and even inspire them to dream


Milestones Kids Achieve by Coloring Within the Lines in Coloring Books

Along with the neater results in coloring, there are several developmental milestones that can be achieved by kids when they learn to color within the lines in coloring books. These milestones are as listed below.


Kids Develop Hand-Eye Coordination Along With Fine Motor Skills

In order for kids to neatly color within the lines, keen attention to detail and good muscle control would be required. So when kids try to keep the colors within the lines as they engage in coloring in coloring books, those two skills would be practiced. And as both hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are practiced simultaneously, those skills would be enhanced.

Kids would have to pay good attention to the pictures in coloring books for them to apply the colors with precision. In addition, the actions that kids would do with their hands, fingers, and wrists during coloring would help strengthen the small muscles in those aforementioned body parts. So the skill of moving according to what they see, that is the hand-eye coordination as well as the movement of those small muscles called fine motor skills are eventually enhanced when kids often engage in coloring in coloring books. 

Moreover, the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills through coloring in coloring books will, later on, also help make learning how to write easier for kids. The development of both these skills will also allow kids to execute different tasks that are typically done every day with more ease. So the development of both these skills early in childhood is crucial, particularly around the preschool age.


Kids Gain Spatial Abilities

When done often, the act of carefully coloring pictures in consideration of the boundaries on coloring books’ pages that kids would practice when coloring would eventually result in the development of spatial abilities in them. Spatial abilities allow the understanding of the spatial relationships between different things. Moreover, spatial abilities would be involved in many situations in their life such as getting themselves oriented to a new environment like a new classroom perhaps, packing their school bag, or mirroring images like when combing their hair.

Through coloring inside the lines in coloring books, kids can learn the concept of boundaries. The development of their spatial abilities would save your tables from coloring mishaps as well. Kids would start thinking and planning around boundaries. Soon enough, they would be coloring with the knowledge of spatial vocabulary such as above, between, and below.

In addition, studies show that spatial abilities are linked with skills in creativity and math as well as succeeding in different STEM fields such as architecture, engineering, and meteorology.


Kids Learn Self-Control and Develop Self-Confidence

Planning, organizing, and conforming to a framework all while staying focused are required in coloring inside the lines of pictures in coloring books. As kids apply all those skills when they engage in coloring in coloring books, those skills get to be practiced and established in them. As a result, they get to have better self-control when it comes to the execution and completion of a task. 

The kids’ enhanced concentration would help them in managing different tasks and succeed in preschool activities. That would also result in confidence in themselves.


Kids Get to Gain Knowledge on Different Topics

Coloring books can be educational too. As kids fill in the different shapes in the pages in coloring books with colors, their minds can also be filled with new knowledge. Coloring books can also expose kids to different topics that they can explore while they color. But also, in order for kids to learn, parents would have to be involved in the activity as well by interacting with their kids as their kids color. So in a way, it can be a fun way for kids to learn while spending quality time with their parents.

Shelby’s coloring books can provide different learning opportunities. Those learning opportunities are as listed below.

Familiarization with Careers

There is Shelby’s I Can Be Anything I Want to Be Careers Coloring Book, where kids can get to be familiarized with different careers as they color, whether they are traditional or non-traditional careers. It can teach kids the difference between traditional careers, which are the jobs that are typically associated with their gender, and non-traditional careers, which are the jobs that are typically associated with the opposite gender. The coloring book also sends a message that career choices should not be restricted by gender and opens kids’ eyes to different career opportunities that they can pursue in the future.

Kids can also learn more about the background of different careers through the representations of the careers in the pictures. They can see what uniforms are worn, what tools are used, and what is the work environment for the different jobs. Moreover, parents can also aid in the learning process by sharing information about the careers with their kids while their kids color. They can give a little more background by telling their kids what the professionals of the different careers do, how their job is done, etc. They can also even ask their kids questions to stimulate thinking in their kids.

Another coloring book of Shelby that is designed to teach kids about careers is the Zentangles Design Careers Coloring Book. In its pages are different careers in bold lettering accompanied by intricate backgrounds of Zentangle Designs. So apart from careers, kids can also learn how to read and how to spell in this coloring book. Before kids color or after kids finish coloring a page, parents can help their kids practice reading and spelling.

Getting Acquainted with the Different Colors

Even in Shelby’s plain coloring books, there are also opportunities for kids to learn. The most obvious thing they can learn is, of course, the different colors. As they use different colors in coloring pictures in coloring books, they get to be acquainted with the colors. They would be able to tell which color is which in their box of crayons. One way to help kids know how to distinguish the different colors is by letting them say the crayon color when they use it or asking them what color they are using.

Learning Shapes

Shapes can also be learned when coloring in Shelby’s coloring books. Many shapes can be found in her coloring books too. So coloring in her coloring books would also give kids the opportunity to get familiarized with them. Parents can show their kids the different shapes in the pictures they are coloring and later on allow their kids to identify the shapes themselves. For example, when your kid is working on a page that has an illustration of a unicorn with stars in the background, you can ask your kid to locate the star shapes.

Learning How to Count

Kids can also have the opportunity to learn how to count in Shelby’s coloring books. Parents can let their kids practice counting by a making them count certain things in pictures that they are coloring. Like they can ask their kids how many flowers are behind a fairy in Shelby’s Fairy Coloring Book.


Kids Get to Experiment and Learn in the Process

Coloring inside lines in coloring books can also be an experimental experience for kids, wherein they can also learn. Even the simple things they do in coloring such as trying to move their hand in a particular stroke or pressure, trying to fix a crayon stroke that may have accidentally gone past the line, or trying to combine two colors to make a new color can further result in useful skills in the future. When they color in coloring books, they can undergo a process of trial and error, which is natural in kids’ learning. Through this, they would be discovering cause and effect. They will be able to see what comes out of their actions.

When kids engage in coloring in coloring books, parents should also allow their kids to practice and experiment on their own. As the kids do so, they become more proficient in skills that can help make some concepts in school easier for them to learn.


Kids Become More Socially Aware

The depictions of social interactions in coloring books are one way that can help develop social awareness in kids. But apart from that, even just practicing coloring within the lines in coloring books itself can be a sign that they are becoming more socially aware. For example, when kids are in class or even anywhere, they can notice from others’ work that the colors have to stay within the lines. This could prompt them to also try to keep their coloring within the lines to do as the other kids do.

Or perhaps they would even try to keep the colors within the lines to please their parents with their work. And the fact that kids would try to make their parents happy, parents must show their appreciation for their kids’ effort.


The improvement of kids’ coloring within the lines can lead to a domino effect of different milestones that are essential in kids’ development and in going about everyday activities as well as school activities. That’s why this skill is important to be developed in kids. It doesn’t happen overnight though. Don’t fret if your kid isn’t immediately able to neatly color within the lines, as it takes time and a lot of practice for kids to actually master this skill. So get your child some of the coloring books available here on to allow them to practice this skill.