Published at Saturday, 11 May 2019. Color by Number. By Lacyann Perret.
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.
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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