What Young Children can Learn from Coloring Books

Coloring books have been delighting children for years. Coloring books, which were first introduced in 1879, have evolved from simple pictures for children to color to more elaborate designs. Not only are they fun, but coloring pages can teach young children important skills.

Fine motor skills

Small children are often uncoordinated. This is because they haven’t fully developed their fine motor skills. What are fine motor skills? Fine motor skills are the skills that are performed by the small muscles in the hands, fingers and wrist. These skills are important because they help a child hold a pencil, cut with a pair of scissors, zip a zipper, play a musical instrument, or use a paint brush. By coloring in a coloring book, young children are working their small muscles and developing their fine motor skills.

Hand-eye coordination

Hand-eye coordination is the ability to control one’s eyes and to coordinate one’s body movements at the same time. Young children must practice to develop their hand-eye coordination skills. Coloring in a coloring book requires young children to color between the lines. This improves their fine motor skill and their hand-eye coordination.


Color can actually increase a young child’s creativity. Yes, coloring books encourage children to color within the lines, but they don’t dictate what color they have to color their subject. Young children are able to experiment with different colors to create colors all their own. They can take the pictures in their coloring books and make them unique by drawing additional pictures on the pages.

Critical thinking

Coloring is a mentally stimulating activity. Mental stimulating activities can increase the brain function and improve critical thinking skills. Coloring in coloring books encourages young children to focus on details and to express themselves.

Different school subjects

Because coloring pages tend to have themes, they can be used to teach many different subjects and skills. They can be used to teach young children about plants and their parts. Young children can learn the names of different states and their shapes using coloring books. And, coloring pages can also be used to teach citizenship and various math skills and concepts.

Cope with negative feelings

The repetition of coloring can be soothing. It can help young children deal with stress and anxiety.  And, it can provide an outlet for negative feelings.

 Cope with traumatic events

Young children who have been through traumatic events may find it difficult to discuss their feelings. Counselors and psychologists often use drawing and coloring as a way to get these children to remember important details of the trauma, to heal, and to reduce stress and anxiety.

Coloring books aren’t just a way to keep young children busy. They can be used to teach young children critical thinking skills, coping skills, creativity, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.