Here are 5 reasons why we love to color and coloring books for kids
Coloring is one of our favorite activities and as a teacher and a mother, there are many reasons why I love it so much for my kids. We are notorious for making creative messes in our home and have devoted an entire room in our basement to crafting and art-making. But that doesn’t mean we don’t also enjoy a nice clean art activity–one that’s easy to pull out at a moment’s notice and just as easy to clean up and stow away once it’s done.
1. It’s Flexible
Coloring can be a great independent activity for kids of all ages. Something that they can work on at the table while you prepare dinner, or on the bathroom floor while you bathe their sibling (one of our favorite ways to manage that hectic bedtime routine). It’s also a fun group activity that anyone in the family can join in on, as long as they’re able to grasp a crayon or marker. I love gathering around the table together and chatting as we color.
Coloring is also really great for travel. We always have a bag tucked away in our car with our favorite coloring books, markers and crayons in case of an emergency. If we decide to stop somewhere for lunch, the kids are easily entertained while mom and dad are able to enjoy an entire cup of hot coffee. We love the Double-Up! travel set of mini markers for this. They come in a small plastic carry case that holds the markers in place tightly, and they have one lid for every two markers. That means fewer lids to potentially go rolling under the table
2. It’s Low-Mess
Requiring only coloring pages and a pack of crayons or markers, coloring is one of the easiest activities to pull out of your bag of tricks when you’re in a pickle. You can also put them in a place that is easily accessible for kids and rest easy knowing that they will not destroy the house when creativity strikes. OOLY has 4 new super cute coloring books (Enchanting Unicorns, Little Cozy Critters, Outer Space Explorers and Outrageous Ocean) made for kids. And each one contains 31 single-sided coloring pages. Don’t you hate when you color one side and the markers seep through and wreck the other picture? I love that the pages are perforated so you can pull them out easily without tearing the picture. That means kids can share one book without fighting for space to color.
Plus, if you buy washable coloring tools, you can quickly wipe up any marks that make their way onto your table or floor with a damp cloth or baby wipe. My little one’s current markers of choice are these Big Bright Brush Markers, which are not only great for little hands to get a good grasp, but are truly washable like the package claims they are.
3. It Promotes Physical Development
Coloring has many physical benefits as well. As kids learn to properly grip their writing tools, they strengthen their hand muscles, improve dexterity and fine-motor skills. And also helps develop their hand-eye coordination. Some writing tools are ergonomically designed to encourage proper grip, like these Left Right Ergonomic Crayons which are curved in such a way that little hands naturally hold them using correct form. Lefties as well as righties can use these with ease. The Big Bright Brush Markers that my daughter loves are chunky, making it easier for young children to hold on to and control their work.
4. It Provides Learning Opportunities
As we gather around the table to color, the conversations become rich with learning. The little one names the colors she’s using, asks us what colors would be made if she mixed them. Then observes out loud when she’s using the correct colors for a particular animal or object (or when she’s not). The kids broaden their vocabulary as they name what they see, and ask questions about the scenes they’re coloring. Sometimes, we even make up stories to go along with them! It’s also worth noting that you can use coloring books to experiment with different tools. Don’t limit yourself to just crayons or markers! When my daughter picked the Sparkle Gel Crayons to work with, I was sure they would be too thick to work well. I was wrong–they looked gorgeous on her little dolphin.
5. It’s Relaxing
Coloring is a low-risk activity that everyone–young and old–can enjoy together. It allows you to concentrate on a single activity, encouraging you to really be in the moment. I’d even go so far as to say that it can be meditative. When the day is getting a bit crazy or overwhelming, coloring together can make everyone a little calmer and completely change the mood in the house.
There are many reasons to love coloring books. Any activity that you can share with your kids and enjoy together is a winner in my opinion!
Tammy Bravo-Eby is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom/homeschooler who loves to explore science, art and literature with her children. You can check out her blog at Kids Make Mess and follow her on Instagram for art and science inspiration and book recommendations.