The Benefits of Coloring with Your Children
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The health benefits of coloring books are well-documented, and it’s not uncommon for therapists to prescribe coloring books for adults to patients as calming and relaxation therapy. Coloring is especially helpful for patients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and stress-related conditions; the act of coloring helps people focus on an enjoyable, positive activity, providing relief from worrying or upsetting intrusive thoughts.
The focus on coloring books for adults is a reminder of the positive effect a seemingly simple act can have on the human mind, especially when that mind is still developing. Coloring books help children master several developmental skills, including:
- Improving motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Enhancing focus and concentration
- Improving hand strength and dexterity
- Enhancing attention to detail
- Practicing color awareness
- Stress relief
- Opportunity for self-expression
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Learning about lines, patterns, and forms.
Coloring as a Family
One of the best ways to help children benefit from coloring is to color as a family. Instead of another night in front of the television, why not have a coloring night? You can either all color your own pages, or work on the same page together—each strategy has its own advantages. The first choice allows everyone the chance to escape into their own artwork, benefiting from the relaxed focus that coloring books offer.
Working as a team to color an oversized coloring book is more of a social, teambuilding exercise, where everyone has a say in what colors to use and how to approach each part of the page. It’s an opportunity to laugh, talk about the day, and grow closer as a family.
Encouraging Children to Color
Most kids don’t have to be talked into using coloring books, but occasionally you’ll encounter one who needs a little extra motivation. Have kids pick their own age-appropriate coloring books at first, to give you some idea of the topics they enjoy and want to color. You can also find personalized coloring books which feature the child’s name throughout a fun adventure.
If children are still hesitant to color, one of the best ways to catch their interest is to color yourself. Enjoy some coloring books for adults, and when the child looks interested, pull out a child’s coloring book and suggest you color it together.