There’s a simple activity that helps children to develop cognitively, psychologically and creatively: coloring. They love to do it anyway, and it could lead to a healthier, happier life in adolescence and into adulthood. The following are some of the key benefits of coloring pages in kids’ psychology and development:

1. Improves Motor Skills

The act of coloring can help to improve motor skills in young children. The actions, motions and precise grip involved in coloring can aid in the development of the muscles of the fingers, hands and wrist. Fine motor skill development can help children write more skillfully as well as manipulate small objects. They can then build on these skills to become better typists and more adept in sports and other activities.

2. Prepares Them for School

Children’s education takes place in a classroom with a fair amount of structure. Lessons are issued on paper via assignments, tests and other written course work. Coloring sheets, books and pages can be integral in preparing kids for the more structured work on paper ahead of them.

3. Stimulates Creativity

Whether they stay in the lines or not, coloring fosters a creative spirit and an appreciation for visual differences. Coloring can stoke the imagination and inspire kids to brainstorm and learn to think of new ideas on their own naturally.

4. Contributes to Better Handwriting

Dexterity, hand strength and attention to detail are all required to write both printed letters and cursive script. Starting out with coloring pages early can help to develop these qualities so that writing comes more easily and naturally.

5. Color Awareness, Recognition and Discernment

The names and hues of colors must be learned, and coloring on coloring pages fosters practice and awareness of primary and common colors as well as more nuanced color awareness of lesser-known, more subtle colors in a direct hands-on manner.

6. Improved Focus and Hand to Eye Coordination

Coordination and the ability to focus is just developing in young children, and undertaking activities to foster and strengthen this budding talent assists in efficient, healthy development. The act of holding crayons, choosing colors, implementing the color in the ideal spot and even sharpening crayons can all help with cultivating strong hand-eye coordination in youngsters.

7. Boundaries, Structure and Spacial Awareness

Adhering to boundaries is an important part of juvenile and adolescent development. Even if he or she becomes a renegade artist later in life, it benefits all children to start out knowing the rules before breaking away. Coloring sheets can help with anchoring a sense of structure and the need and benefit of having boundaries. Coloring also helps children to learn about lines, shapes, colors/hues, perspective, patterns and forms.

8. Improved Confidence and Self Esteem

The ability to complete a task successfully builds self esteem and confidence in young children. Coloring regularly and completing projects boosts a child’s sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves.

9. Self-Expression

Every human being expresses themselves differently, and many children are visual in nature. Coloring is a fertile vehicle for self expression as children make color decisions and flesh out the boundaries of a coloring page, sheet or book.

10. Therapy and Stress Relief

Coloring is also calming and therapeutic for kids, especially if they have no other outlet for unpleasant or confusing emotions. Even kids who fall into the “normal” range of emotional health can benefit from processing their feelings, frustrations and emotions though the simple but profound act of coloring.

Most kids love to color, and it turns out it’s more than just a recreational activity. It can also foster physical and psychological development in a range of areas. Get your kids started with coloring as early as possible, and you’ll contribute to a lifetime of positive benefits.