Free printable coloring pages: Can I interest you in something more educational?

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free printable coloring pages

The pictures about are 3 standard type of free printable coloring pages that you will find all over the place.

There are free coloring pages and printables all over the web. They are free and therefor, quite popular.

The truth is that they are not only popular because they are free. They are probably the most often searched for art activities online to give to children in kindergartens, early elementary school and in home schooling environment. People even search for specific types of coloring pages like coloring pages for boys or flower coloring pages.

The problem is though with most of these coloring pages is that they are really just busy  work. They are time fillers and really do nothing to really teach the children or give them art activities.

If you are interested in reading further then I need to tell you that they are not only not educational but they are detrimental to children’s real learning.
What coloring pages do is put children into a box, keeping them away from being creative and letting them think that there is no way that they can come up with anything creative on their own.

It makes them think that there is only one way to draw the item that they are coloring and inhibits them from creating their own versions.

Coloring pages are also a cop out. They are not messy, they keeps the kids busy and if you are a teacher, it gives you something to send home to the parents.It is unfortunately a crutch for many and its a very big pity that they are so popular.

To help combat this proliferation of coloring books and pages is a movement for a idea called the “non coloring books for kids”. There is woman named Susan Striker who started the anti coloring book movement to help combat this.She put out a series of coloring books starting with The Anti-Coloring Book:

There has also been a proliferation of doodling type coloring books like Zolocolor!: Doodling Between Black and White.
If someone is uncomfortable with free drawing and wants to give their children a bit more structure then these coloring books are the way to go. They also will keep the kids busy, even longer than the standard coloring pages will, but there is more creativity her and even more opportunity to exercise fine motor control as they are filling in small designs all over the page.

One of the problems that comes about from children using coloring pages all the time is that kids get frightened of the freedom and lack of structure that these non coloring books bring to the table. Many teachers that I know tell me that that give the children coloring pages and printable s because it helps them with the children’s fine motor coordination. There are many, many posts that give great activities for fine motor control like this one and you don’t have to resort to coloring to get that skill in.

It may be a factor and is why occupational therapists use those sheets in their work with kids.
However, the damage they do is greater than the good they do and there are many other wonderful activities to give children that will help with their coordination without damaging their creativity and self esteem.

Another great activity that is like the anti coloring book style coloring is making the mandala like in this coloring book Coloring Mandalas

Mandalas are used extensively in art therapy. It is also a coloring page and you can certainly find lots of those free ones online.

So before you offer your children one of the many coloring books or pages you can get for free, do a cost-benefit analysis. It may free you up a bit and keep them busy, but is it worth the stifling of the creativity that these typical, standard coloring pages tend to encourage.

Have you made the switch? I’d love to know how

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