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76. Colouring in

Jan 21, 2022 • 7 min read
Colouring in

Did you used to love colouring in? So therapeutic and satisfying, even as an adult.

But some early years teachers frown on colouring in because it's not creative and has a pre-determined outcome. However, that's to miss the point.

Colouring in offers plenty of scope for making creative and aesthetic choices, from which colours you will use to how hard your pencil stroke is and how meticulously you stay within the lines. In this way it’s a kind of stepping stone to creativity, providing a practice ground for the time when you will choose your paints and your artistic style on a canvas or a big sheet of paper.

It's also a vital precursor to writing - and much more fun! Long before they know the alphabet and how to write, children can develop their grip strength and co-ordination with colouring in. The back and forth, up and down of colouring in lays the foundation for producing the ascenders and descenders of letter formation. While staying within the lines teaches your child to switch between the two, which eventually helps them keep their letter height even.


I'm Alexis, father of four and founder of One Hundred Toys. I taught in London primary schools for thirteen years, specialising in the early years. Now I write about all things play here on the blog. Read more

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