Why Don't Children Color Within the Lines?
We all know that coloring has massive effects on a child's mental health as well as physical condition. Most parents and teachers encourage kids who are 3 to 5 years old in the activity of coloring so that they may be able to enhance their cognitive abilities.
But most children that age do not have fully developed skills and parts of the brain which are fundamentally responsible for motor skills like bike riding, coloring and outdoor games.
This is one of the main reasons why children are unable to color within the lines of a shape or a cartoon. Their underdeveloped cognitive and spatial abilities do not allow children to be precise and remain within the lines as their coloring strokes tend to go outside the shape. Let us further discuss these two skills.
Motor Skills and Coloring Pages
Motor skills are those skills which our body uses for different purposes like rotating our wrists and how strongly or how lightly we grab something. These play a major role in coloring as children are able to use their large muscles to drag the pencil onto the coloring book in order to color a picture. But as children do not have fully developed motor skills, they tend to drag the coloring pencil and their strokes – more often than not – go outside the boundaries of the shape.
Denise Badman, Ph.D. in T. Denny Sanford School says that children tend to scribble in a coloring book as they only move their large arm muscles and are unable to move their more precise wrist and finger muscles.
This makes their coloring go outside the lines. She says that when kids get bigger and older, they learn to use their smaller muscles of the wrist and fingers; they get more precision in their coloring techniques. This is how a child develops the skill of coloring as well as writing.
Spatial Skills and Coloring Pages
This skill helps a person to identify different shapes, sizes and colors. In other words, this skill helps a person to identify how much bigger or smaller things are.
For a child, it is very difficult to judge the shape and size of any object – that is the main reason why children cannot catch a ball if someone throws it at them because they cannot judge the speed at which the ball is coming at them. It is all due to the fact that they do not have fully developed spatial skills which makes them unable to color within the lines of a coloring page.