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Colouring is not just Colouring
It forms part of a bigger picture of development and function that is needed for writing skills. If fine motor skills are not adequately developed, it will hamper writing skills and most probably lead to problems with letter formation and pencil control. The child’s self-confidence may also be hampered as they may feel that they are not capable to execute tasks and activities successful.
Childhood memory sticks – aka Crayons can be used in SO many skill areas?
Consider area of development
- fine and gross motor strength,
- tool use, sensory processing,
- pencil grasp,
- line awareness,
- hand-eye coordination,
- dexterity, endurance,
- task completion,
- and learning objectives like colour identification,
- and colour matching.
Crayons versus pencils, markers etc
Don’t rush into expensive colouring pencils. The preschool child has to be eased into writing. They are more comfortable with a bigger writing instrument. So choose a good quality wax crayon; one that would make a mark easily and yet be able to resist the uncontrolled pressure of the little hand.
Unlike a marker, children can colour lightly or very dark by exerting more pressure. The proprioceptive system comes into play when a child attempts to vary the amount of pressure they are exerting through the crayon. Colouring with markers just doesn’t provide that resistive feedback that colouring with a waxy crayon does. Markers just don’t give the sensory input that help with learning letters. Children should be encouraged to shade and combine colours. Make them aware of how lightly or darkly they are colouring. There is also that crayon scent that children are aware of, either consciously or unconsciously
Colouring between the lines
From about the age of 3 years, a child starts becoming aware of colouring between the lines but because their pencil grasp is not adequately developed yet, the control and precision is not yet adequate. (please refer to: writing – pencil grip)
From about 5 years of age the child demonstrates a three point grasp. The pencil is controlled by individual finger movements that will allow a child to execute colouring tasks with sufficient control and precision. If fine motor skills are developed age appropriately it will allow the child to execute colouring tasks successfully and with the necessary control to stay between the lines.
Colouring tasks also help with the development of eye-hand coordination. Further it also helps with concentration and it makes the child more aware of boundaries. These skills that a child learns through colouring, forms the foundation for writing skills in formal schooling – to exercise successful control over the pencil for the formation of letters and to form letters on the lines.
It forms part of a bigger picture of development and function that is needed for writing skills. So, if fine motor skills are not adequately developed, it will hamper writing skills and most probably lead to problems with letter formation and pencil control. The child’s self-confidence may also be hampered as they may feel that they are not capable to execute tasks and activities successful.
Every human being expresses themselves differently, and many children are visual in nature. Colouring is a fertile vehicle for self-expression as children make colour decisions and flesh out the boundaries of a colouring page, sheet or book.
Helps Develop Hand-Strength
One of the biggest reasons colouring is important at this age is because it helps develop hand strength. Hand strength is important for all hand-related fine motor skills, especially handwriting. Writing takes strength and dexterity, and colouring helps exercise these muscles
Building on the fine motor skill areas, colouring can deepen a child’s endurance in completing writing tasks. Many times, kids will complain of hand fatigue while colouring. They can build muscle endurance by colouring with the small muscles of their hands and allow for greater endurance when writing