Published at Saturday, May 11th 2019. by Darcey Boyer in Color by Number.
Coloring Books And Worksheets: What’s The Value Of ’Staying In The Lines’? Crayons, of course. Scented markers. Colored pencils, resharpened. And coloring books by the jillions. Why do people like coloring so much? For grown-ups, I can totally get the nostalgia — and the simple pleasure of creating something. But here at NPR Ed, we’re all about kids and learning. And so, as parents head to the store this summer with their back-to-school lists, we thought this question was worth a serious look: Do coloring books have any educational value? Do they squash creativity like a bug or, as some sites suggest, promote the development of fine motor skills? I’ve seen my daughter bring home worksheets from elementary school, asking her to color in this or that picture after answering a math or word problem. And, I’ve wondered as I watched her complete these assignments, ”Isn’t this busywork?”. I’ve always thought coloring books are, educationally speaking, bad news. That ”staying in the lines” isn’t really the kind of independent and creative thinking we want to nurture. Am I right? So, as part of our Tools of the Trade series, here’s a look at kids and coloring books and whether they have any place in the classroom.
With traditional coloring sheets, your child will be able to go at his own pace to complete his artwork as quickly as he wants, so the neatness or quality of the end product isn’t a major issue. Color by number worksheets require significantly more patience and self control. Great care is needed to ensure that your child is choosing the right color that corresponds with the number listed on the page in order to finish the project correctly. The end result will be a finished product that your child can feel proud that he accomplished, giving him a heightened sense of confidence and self esteem. Additionally, there will be times when your child may make a mistake on his page. This can actually provide a valuable learning experience in flexibility that your child can use in other areas of his life. Like many situations, things may not go exactly like we hoped when completing a color by number worksheet, but your child can learn to be flexible and to use his problem solving skills to come with a way to resolve the issue.
The Benefits of Painting-by-Number, Paint-by-number isn’t just a fun pastime. It is also one rich with benefits. A few include. Increased hand-eye coordination — Painting-by-number will maximize your hand-eye coordination. This is important because, according to LIVESTRONG, “Developing hand-eye coordination may result in better reaction times, as well as enhanced agility and athleticism. It may also improve your typing skills, which can help you become more productive at work.” Decreased stress — There is probably not a person alive who would not benefit from a lower stress level. A trendy way for adults to lower stress is by coloring. Could it be that painting-by-number would have the same effects as coloring? The Huffington Post stated, “(Adult coloring) generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.” Like coloring, painting-by-number requires a good bit of focus, stirs creativity, and calms the senses. In fact, “Stress Less Paint-by-Number” is a modern brand of paint-by-number kit sold by Wal Mart and Amazon. If you’re feeling stressed, painting-by-number might help you unwind. Encourages other artistic endeavors — It’s possible that some artists started out painting-by-number. Maybe paint-by-number was their first-ever experience with art. This painting technique could reveal a love for art that you were previously unaware of. Don’t be surprised if painting-by-number leads to engaging in more serious artistic endeavors. At the very least, it will be fun and offer you a creative outlet.
If you don’t want to work with the brushes paint-by-number kits come with, you may want to buy your own at a craft store. In particular, you may want to have a larger brush on hand, not just the very small ones offered in the kits. Some canvases come wrinkled. Spray a light mist of water on the canvas and iron on a low setting on the back side to press out any wrinkles before you begin painting. Paint with just one color at a time, beginning with the largest areas meant for the color. “You’ll notice some shapes have two numbers in them, not just one,” stated ThoughtCo. “This indicates that you need to mix two colors together. Equal proportions should give you a suitable color, but don’t dip your brush from one paint container into the next as you’ll contaminate the colors.”
Children see the benefit of finishing what they have started. This might sound so simple, but again, many children grow up not to know that it’s important to see things through to the end. In my experience, most children love finishing color by number worksheets since they would like to see what the picture would look like if colored entirely. According to research, it takes an average of two months to create a habit. Imagine using color by number worksheets in your classroom just to develop the skill of seeing things through to the end the whole year. That’s one life skill that your students will be able to benefit from long after they have left your classroom.
Since tomorrow is National Coloring Book Day, today seems like a good day to talk about color by number exercises, and some of the principal benefits of color by number activities, and why they are good exercises to give to your kids, either at home or in a classroom setting. So here we go: Color by number exercises encourage creativity, But wait, you might say… color by number exercises give children defined colors and limits… why would this support creativity and imagination? Well, if you have children who don’t naturally want to draw or color, or feel timid doing so, color by number exercises offer a “safe zone” that kids can use to practice working with color and design. This can lead to future drawing, painting, or coloring activities.
Color by number printable can be differentiated for different students, Color by number pages do not have to be “integers only” pages. We like to use color by number pages to teach mathematics. Instead of giving a number for a space to color, we might give an addition problem: 2 + 3 =. Then, at the bottom of the page, we might say, “5 = purple“. Kids would solve the problem, then color that space in depending on the color given for the answer. This gets kids practicing their skills with mathematics – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, working with shapes – while completing a fun art project in the classroom. It’s a best of both worlds scenario.
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