What Young Children can Learn from Coloring Books

The preschool years present the best time to catch a child’s interest and help them enjoy learning. Coloring books are great tools to use to teach children many concepts and skills. Children of all ages and sizes usually enjoy coloring. This provides bonding time with other family members or friends while the child learns.


Obviously, one of the main concepts a child learns through coloring books is to recognize and name colors. Many coloring books are in a color-by-number format that parents can help the child finish. Others instruct the child to color various items on the page one color. Children can experiment with various colors, helping them find a favorite color and learn to make choices and form personal interests.

Early reading

Many coloring books have the names of the colors or objects to introduce young children to letter recognition and sounding out letters when the parent or sibling helps. Activity books offer coloring pages as well as letter or word matching games. Some require the child to match a word to a picture, keeping the interest of kindergarten or first grade children.

Early academics

Besides reading, other concepts can be working into coloring books such as matching, one to one correspondence and early math skills. The child can learn about animals and environments while coloring pictures of dolphins or matching a dolphin to an ocean scene. Many coloring books have pictures that can be cut out and glued together to form objects or posters, helping the child learn to use scissors and imagination.


Once a child moves past the scribbling stage, he can learn a lot about patience through coloring. Depending on the child’s ability, it can take quite a long time to color a picture to the child’s liking. This can help a child learn to focus and concentrate while learning to set personal goals. While some children take longer to learn to stay in the lines, others decide early on that they prefer to stay in the lines. These skills will help them when it’s time to start school.


Good self-esteem is important for everyone to make it through life’s challenges. Building it early through coloring pictures that everyone likes is a great way to encourage the child to do a good job. Taking time to work on a coloring page even if it’s just scribbling for a toddler and seeing the reactions of others helps a child feel proud of herself and encourages her to keep trying.

Development skills

While the child works hard at coloring in a coloring book, he is developing muscles in the hand that are important for fine motor skills. These skills are necessary when he begins to use pencils or pens. Children with low muscle tone can use coloring as a therapy tool while having fun. With the interesting pictures and themed coloring books, the child’s interest is captured and he may not mind working on his fine motor skills.

Whether a child is a reluctant learner or activity pursues learning opportunities, coloring books are a great tool to add to the home and school. Developing imagination while learning important skills necessary for life is the perfect combination. Coloring together with parents or siblings is a great way to open discussions while providing important one-on-one time together.