One Sunflower

what is it about coloring pages?

on December 14, 2010

Coming from the artistic family that I did, coloring books were not really a staple on our shelves.  My dad is an architect. My mom majored in fine arts and made little sketches when I was growing up that have become my models for the drawings I make for my students.  My brother was such a great artist as a kid that I stopped drawing because I couldn’t compete.  But my siblings and I have all taken up some form of artistic expression and continue to develop skills that demand an eye for color, balance, line, and movement.

So I was brought up to scorn coloring books – except the kind that were the geometric or mosaic design type.  I didn’t include them in the supplies I felt were essential to a preschool curriculum.  But in recent years, I’ve come to value these pages – for a variety of reasons.

First of all, parents coming to work in the classroom love to color – it is like comfort food for them.  They settle in at a table and pretty soon they are surrounded by children and all kinds of conversation is taking place.

Secondly, kids like them.  And I haven’t found that preschoolers become inhibited about drawing their own pictures just because there are coloring pages around the classroom.  Right now I have a few students who go to the basket of duplicated pages every day and color like crazy but will produce their own drawings in their journals during writing time.

Today I witnessed the third reason I like coloring pages: they help with fine motor skills and sometimes they inspire my students to do amazing things – just because they love the pages so much and are so proud of their work.

This little prince came to the table after wandering a bit in the classroom, sat down with a blue marker and colored all the balls and the star on the tree.

He held it up for me and pointed at the star, saying the new word in English.  He grabbed another sheet and began coloring the balls again, this time being more careful in his work.

Then he put an “S” on the paper, and began to make other marks similar to the letters in his name.  This is really the first solid name writing I’ve seen from this child!  My exclamations over his work made his table partner try to do the same.

So I am celebrating coloring pages today!

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3 responses to “what is it about coloring pages?

  1. Stacey says:

    They do help kids master fine motor skills! An excellent reason to keep them around!

  2. Katy says:

    I am celebrating them with you! Great pictures!

  3. Strawberry says:

    I like how you celebrate something you may have overlooked for many years. My kids don’t like coloring books (I don’t really either–Maybe they’ll be architects or artists some day!), despite my attempts to get them to color in them to at least help them with fine motor skills, as you said. However, I notice they do choose to color in coloring books/pages in classroom settings. Maybe there’s something about the idea of coloring in a pre-designed page in a setting outside of the home. It’s safer, therefore, comforting, as you say. At home, they don’t feel as threatened–I sure hope not!

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