Some early years teachers frown on colouring-in because it's not creative and has a pre-determined outcome. We think that’s nonsense.
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 pre-cursor to being fully creative, 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 is an early form of the ascenders and descenders that form the basis of handwriting. While staying within the lines teaches your child to switch between the two, which eventually helps them keep their letter height even.