I have vivid memories of coloring and the smell of a brand-new box of crayons. I also remember being a little jealous of the cool kids who had the crayon box with the built-in sharpener.
A crayon is one of the most beloved toys in America. They are on nearly every preschool and early grade school supply list. Crayons and coloring are valuable learning tools for young children. Give your toddler and preschooler plenty of opportunities to scribble or color. Of course you’ll want to supervise to make sure you don’t end up with new artwork on the wall.
Let your child explore with the crayons. Loops, curls and scribbles are wonderful. Toddlers scribble because they are using their whole arm and they’re holding the crayon with a fisted grasp. Their fine motor skills and dexterity strengthen as they mature. A young child is also beginning to understand that the lines and marks on the paper represent objects, shapes and eventually letters.
4 Benefits of Coloring
- Manipulating crayons improves a child’s dexterity and fine motor skills.
- Coloring improves hand-eye coordination, which is essential in learning to write letters.
- Kids learn about force with crayons. A mark can be light or very dark depending on the amount of pressure they use when they draw.
- Coloring can inspire creativity and build self-confidence.
4 Learning Activities with Crayons
- Storytelling – Ask your child to tell you a story about their drawing.
- Counting – Count with them the number of different things in their drawing. This could be squiggles, shapes, faces, flowers or whatever is on their page.
- Sorting – Place different colors of construction paper on a table and ask your child to put the crayons on the matching piece of paper. This works best with a big box of crayons.
- Shapes – Talk about the shapes in their drawing. Then draw and name different shapes for them. They can trace your drawings to practice these new shapes.
Open a box of crayons with your child and color to your heart’s content. If you’re looking for a novel crayon art project, check out this article on melting crayons to make art.