Saturday, January 21, 2012

365 Days with Kiddos - #36 - Spend an Afternoon Coloring

I spent hours and hours AND HOURS coloring as a child. While I grew up to make art every day, I didn't have many opportunities to simply color until I had my own kiddos. The enjoyment I used to get from coloring all came back to me when I started to do it with my girls. They have both been coloring since they could hold a crayon, long before they could talk. I really enjoy spending time with them an watching how their skills change as they get older.

My eldest, Quin, who is 5.5 years, is very creative when she colors. She likes to stay within the lines (which in my mind is not required) and she often uses several colors instead of just one in each segment of a coloring book page. Her creations are beautiful! She will use crayons but she prefers pencil crayons (colored pencils) and markers. She spends a lot of time on these creations, and we keep the ones she likes the best in a folder.

My youngest daughter, Emmanuelle, is just 2.5 years old. She has had the benefit of watching her older sister color. As a baby she would clamour to color and didn't spend much time using crayons.

She totally skipped pencil crayons. Her instrument of choice has always been markers. She used to scribble all over the page but recently we were pretty shocked when she started coloring in the lines. Her hand can suddenly control the marker and go exactly where she wants. She now spends up to an hour just filling our coloring books with glorious color. Amazingly enough, she seems to be very adept at color combinations, which I can't say I taught her, she just learned by looking and trying things out.

There are several benefits of coloring that I have seen in my children first hand. They have developed better concentration, their color awareness has grown, Emmanuelle has been able to learn the names of colors, it has helped them to develop their fine motor skills, and I can see that overall it helps them to be more artistically creative, to have better imaginations, and to help them to express their thoughts and feelings.

If you would like to try making recycled crayon cakes from your old crayon bits, please see this post...

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