Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. Color by Number. By Lacina Joly.
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.
Children learn the meaning of symbols. Color by number worksheets are fantastic in helping children understand that symbols have meaning. Not only do children get better at color recognition when using color by number pages, children also learn that numbers can be used to represent other things and aren’t only just for counting. Later on, children will be able to grasp that different objects in their surroundings can actually be used as a symbol for other things and have other meanings. It’s just undeniable that symbolic understanding is important to function well in the society we live in.
Everything You Need to Know About Paint-by-Number, When was the first time you were introduced to the term “paint-by-number”? Maybe you were a child, or perhaps it was more recently. In case you haven’t heard of it, paint-by-number is a painting system that delineates a picture into shapes, and marks each individual shape with a number that corresponds with a paint color. Aspiring artists fill in each shape with the called-for paint color until all spaces are filled and a picture has emerged. (Cue the how-did-I-do-that response.) Painting-by-number is truly as easy as it sounds, which is precisely why it gained incredible popularity several decades ago, and continues to be a favorite pastime.
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