Yesterday, as my 21 month old was coloring with crayons, I thought about what she was learning.
However, that was before she started taking all of the crayons out of the box and rolling them onto the floor and table while I was trying to help my son make his Elmer the Elephant Artwork. Crayon time had to end at that point.
Before she must have become tired of coloring, she was very serious about her work. She busily picked out different colors of crayons and tested them out on her elephant.
I told her the names of the colors she was choosing but, other than that, stayed out of the process.
As I watched my little girl I knew that she was learning several skills even though to many it would have seemed that she was just scribbling.
Here are the benefits I believe toddlers can gain from coloring.
- Color Recognition: Naming the colors a toddler is using while coloring will help her recognize and name them on her own later.
- Coordination: Even if your toddler isn’t holding crayons “the right way”, using them helps with hand-eye coordination as she learns to only color on the paper (and not on the table, walls, their body, etc. ).
- Fine Motor Control: Allowing a toddler to color with crayons will give her increased fine motor control which will later benefit her when she is learning to write.
- Creativity: Giving a toddler a crayon and some paper fosters creativity. I don’t give my toddlers any rules for coloring other than that the crayons are only for coloring on the paper. This allows them to start to use their imaginations. As they grow your child will feel free to make all sorts of masterpieces because you didn’t hinder them when they were toddlers.
Who knew that a toddler could learn so much by using crayons?
I like to give my toddlers a variety of types of crayons to color with such as regular, chunky, homemade, and even broken crayons. Using a variety of sizes of crayons will strengthen a toddlers hands and in turn help with handwriting later.
While my little girl still occasionally tries to stick a crayon in her mouth while she is coloring, I think that waiting until a child doesn’t put things into their mouth anymore does them a disservice.
Children have to learn how to properly use their art materials and what better time to start teaching them than while they are toddlers.
Does your toddler like to color?