Undeserved Hate for Coloring Books

Many bad things had been said about coloring books and coloring pages. In fact many school administrator, particularly in preschools, purposely removed coloring books as teaching tools from their curriculum. They are in the belief that, amongst other things, that coloring books stifle a child’s innate creativity. That a child never learns to be either imaginative or inventive, stunts their critical thinking, because of the simple nature of coloring, which only involves putting color to bare drawings and figures. Others think that coloring books teaches inferiority in children, because it shows them how poor their skills are in drawing the same things that they are coloring. Many other justifications have been used to vilify the activity. I don’t know what particular place they are coming from, where they get their figures from or how they arrived at their conclusions. But for me, I don’t believe in any of the things they are saying.

Traditional hard copy coloring books or the recently readily available coloring pages, like the “Disney’s Frozen” coloring pages or the ever popular “My Little Pony” coloring pages are just that, they are coloring books that were made for enjoyment, and nothing more. Finding fault in a thing which is so innocently unassuming takes great courage, I will give them that. I think they have too much time on their hands, with nothing to do except to bash anything of their current fancy. Makes me wonder what they did as children.

They say that coloring books inhibits creativity. If you give a young child a crayon or a pencil, and told him to draw a tree, what would he do? He would scribble lines and whatnots all over the place because he does not know how to draw yet. What if you give the same tree to him for coloring? Yes, he will still scribble and wave the crayon aimlessly; in his little mind, he will still try to impose what he thinks the tree is. But after coloring, it enforces in his mind that the thing he colored was a tree. Try to make him draw the tree freehand next time and see the difference.

Another issue I have with their belief, that coloring is not good for learning, is the statement that coloring inhibits critical thinking and thinking “out of the box”. Well, how then, I ask, do you teach young children to think out of the box if the same children doesn’t know what’s in the box in the first place? Before wandering off and thinking about all the things in this world, one must first know the basics of life. From the basics lie the foundation of critical thinking and creativity.

For children, there is a certain time for everything. They must be afforded every tool that may help them in achieving whatever potential they have while growing up. Coloring books have their place in a child’s life, bashing them and labeling them as unworthy, only limits a child’s potential which, in the first place, is what they are aspiring for. I suggest for all the non- believers to try coloring sometimes, as it may change their view of it. I really can’t imagine them saying that coloring books are bad, do they really know what they were talking about?