Colour inside or outside the lines?
“Colour inside the lines!”
Is that a good thing?
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.
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.
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!
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.