With the recent arrival of spring and with summer right on the horizon, the kids and I will be spending more time outdoors. However, on rainy days, I’ll be looking for activities to keep them busy, and recently coloring has become my number one go-to activity. Not only children can have fun with it, but adult coloring has its own benefits.
I remember as a child the excitement around a new box of crayons and a coloring book! It was something I always enjoyed doing and have many fond memories of coloring with my sister on our living room floor. I must admit, I never saw the act of coloring as much more than a being a fun activity until the recent adult coloring book craze hit few years ago back in 2013. That’s when I started wondering why coloring has made such a huge comeback, so I started to research some of its benefits.
Here are the benefits of adult coloring with your child
It activates both parts of the brain
It turns out coloring is good for your brain as it involves both logic and creativity. For example, when we use logic to pick up a color for a particular shape or pattern, we activate the analytical part of the brain. On the other hand, when we choose to mix and match colors, we activate the creative side of the brain. This helps incorporate both areas of the cerebral cortex which control vision and help with coordination and fine motor skills.
* It’s therapeutic: Coloring is an awesome way to de-stress and reduces anxiety after a busy day of work or school. It’s a great activity to help you wind down and relax at the end of each day. There are also many claims that coloring has the potential to bring about mindfulness and presence, and to help unleash creativity and play in a way that is safe.
It enhances bilateral coordination
Activities like coloring, gluing, and cutting all require children to use both of their hands together. This is an important pre-cursor to learning to write, tie their shoes and manage clothing fasteners like buttons or snaps with both hands.
It helps with self-expression and sparks creativity
While my kids own several coloring books, I also like to leave scraps of blank paper in a basket along with some crayons or paper. Coloring on a blank piece of paper is a better way for children and adults to express themselves. It allows one to draw freely without being confined to the boundaries of coloring within the lines. Many art experts and teachers agree you can tell a lot about the way a person is feeling by the images that they draw or the colors that they use. When it comes to children, it’s especially important to give them a chance to express themselves because and not all children express themselves through words and writing, many use art.
It enhances self-esteem
If you’ve ever seen a young child’s face light up when they complete a task on their own, then you know what a special feeling that is. Children enjoy being able to create their own “masterpieces”. Creating their piece of art can be a great emotional boost for them. The impression left on a child as you express your delight when they present you with a gift of their creation helps to build confidence. The satisfaction of a completed project is a wonderful way to embrace self-esteem.
It increases your ability to focus
This is not only true for children but adults as well. Today we live in a very busy world where several gadgets and screens are constantly competing for our attention. Children who can focus and spend their time completing a coloring page “to the best of their ability” staying within the lines, despite all the activity going on around them develop concentration and focus skills. Those valuable skills will undoubtedly help them as they get older in school and have to complete a host of worksheets and homework assignments.
It helps weaken fine motor muscles in our hands
This benefit is true for both children and adults. The fine motor muscles we use for drawing, coloring and writing start to feel weak if they aren’t used regularly. Coloring is a great way to keep those muscles strong. Using technology all the time and typing can weaken those muscles.
It allows you to connect with others
For adults, coloring has become a trendy and social way to make art more approachable. So if you’re looking to connect with others who enjoy adult coloring then use social media. You can do this by searching popular hashtags like #coloring #coloringisntjustforkids #adultcoloring and #adultcoloringbooks. By searching those hashtags, you see people all over the world sharing their finished coloring pages. If social media isn’t your thing and you want to get more up close and personal with people, you can also join a local coloring club. There are several adult coloring meetups that take place all over the country. Use this website to find the one closest to you.
Some of the other more obvious benefits to coloring for kids include color recognition, grip and pencil control, accepting boundaries (by coloring within the lines) and enhancing fine motor skills. Many of these benefits of coloring are the same for children and adults. However, adults have slightly different needs from a coloring book.
So break out a box of colored pencils, markers or crayons and a coloring book (or blank piece of paper) and start coloring with your kids (or on your own) today. Make it a goal to spend some time this week with your child coloring, creating and sharing the experience – you will both benefit from this worthwhile activity. Who knows you might reconnect with your inner child, re-discover yourself, or be transported to a far away place just from the act of coloring! Adult coloring is here to stay.
About the All-Star Blogger
Charnaie is a wife and mom of two children, ages 2 and 3. She focuses on books, reading, and literacy and is passionate about daily reading aloud. Charnaie shares her reading tips, writes book reviews, and hosts book giveaways at Here Wee Read.