Colour inside or outside the lines?


“Colour inside the lines!”

Is that a good thing?

Inside or outside the lines

Hundreds of parents had debated if colouring inside the lines is right or wrong. Will colouring inside the lines damage the kids and stop them from being creative?

So should the kids colour inside or outside the lines?

I say, BOTH!

WHY COLOUR INSIDE THE LINES?

Colouring inside the lines helps children practice their fine motor skills, as does cutting, pasting, threading yarn through holes on cards, putting together puzzles, and many other activities. They work on their hand-eye-brain coordination. These types of motor skills is a good thing to develop early. Besides, it helps to teach children about control, discipline and restraint, and as well, teaches coordination and interpretation of parameters. This helps the children to define things.

Early this week, we just did painting and I got Sonia to paint inside the lines.

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I drew a few animals and asked her to paint inside the lines with whatever colours she liked.

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Whenever I ask for a smile, she shows me this cheeky face. Maybe to her, that’s a smile.

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The blue-red-blue feathers on the right were painted by me. I was trying to show her how to paint inside the line, and so, did a demo. The rest was done by her. Though she stills paint outside the line, that’s fine. She’s only three, so give her a break!

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I really liked her choice of colours. She alternated blue after a different colour and I thought she was being creative until I saw the peacock image on her book – she mimicked the choice of colours used. Still, I was proud of her!

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She was proud of her work too!

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Besides using paint brushes, I gave her other tools, such as a sticks with sponges. Sonia used that stick to dab on the ant head. This time round, I took her book away and she chose the colours by herself. She knows that ants are black in colour but still, she likes her ant to be pink and blue! “Lovely” I said.

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Again, proudly showing off her work.

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She painted a crocodile too, and this time in green. I asked her “why green”. She said “ma ma, I tell you, co-co-da is green and nai nai favourite colour is green, you know”. “Yes, I know, sweetheart! Keep painting.” I replied.

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I realised, the more she practiced, the better she is with staying inside the line.

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Polka dots are her favourite! She loves circle, anything round, and she calls them ball-ball. The bigger circles were done using a big paint brush. She dipped a generous amount of yellow paint, placed the brush on the paper, gave it some pressure and turned it (with some assistance). The little pink dots were easy. Just dap and print.

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There you go, this is Di Cat. Why “Di Cat”? Because she said the name of the cat was “Di”. I didn’t come out with that spelling, she did. “How to spell ‘Di’, Sonia?” I asked. She said “‘D’, ‘I’, no more.”

WHY COLOUR OUTSIDE THE LINES?

“It is our imagination that gives shape to the universe.” – Barry Lopez

Creative thinking and artistic energy are essentially good qualities. They enable us to discover new solutions to old problems. They allow children to view things differently and to express their inner feelings in new and exciting ways. I try to create an environment that encourage my kids to be creative. Sometimes, I lay the table with colouring materials and drawing blocks and my only rule is “do not drop the paint on the floor” (because I had to scrub the floor, no?). I do a lot of “wild” painting, colouring, and crafting with my kids because I know, as they grow, the more they learn and thrive for perfection, and I will see this trait disappearing.

Some months ago, I did abstract painting with Sonia. “Draw something that is “happy” and leave her to fill in the white void.

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She squeezed paint directly onto the paper and started painting.

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That’s her ideology of something happy.

Next, I told her to paint something sad. She did the same thing, squeeze paint directly onto the paper and started painting, this time round with her brushes and fingers. Fingers – because she accidentally touched the paint and decided not to waste it, so she wiped them off the paper. And since her fingers were already soiled, she decided to use her fingers too!

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Sonia’s idea of a “SAD” painting. I can understand that ‘blue’ is a gloomy colour but why yellow? She said “too sad, so I used lair-llo yellow“. For some reason, I really like this piece of work (that’s why I chose it to be my header image).

CONCLUSION

So I do BOTH! Some days, I set boundaries and we colour inside the lines. On other days, we have no boundaries (except to minimise mess, so poor mummy doesn’t need to scrub the wall or floor, too much) and allow the young minds to explode!

Parents, you know your child best. Just do what you feel benefits your child most. Ignore the noise and you will be fine. I don’t think your child will be “damaged” if you choose to let them colour inside the line or outside the line, or perhaps, do both.

Have fun painting

winniediorachew
About me

Hello! I'm Winnie! First, a wife to my hub, Edmund. Then a mum to my gems, Sonia and Arnold. Together we form WESA. Everything written in this blog space is about us - it's a family affair! Here I share snippets of our everyday kind of life and adventures. I love motherhood, family, children, playdates, travel, parties and simple joy.

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