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Why Drawing and Coloring within Lines is Important

Drawing is a highly underestimated skill because we don't realize how it benefits kids to start using their hand-eye coordination at a very young age. It helps them concentrate to create something that springs from their imagination. I didnt really see it as a very important activity till Adi, my son began to attend the summer camp and developed interest in coloring.

During June 2009 vacations, Adi met Jithu, my cousin's son in Kerala. Now I have to say that Jithu is fantastic at drawing, coloring and painting. His paintings comprised pencil sketches, oil paints and even simple drawings. Still, there was something so life-like and beautiful about those pictures.

One particular drawing that Jithu showed me was very touching. It depicted the terrorist attacks on Taj Hotel that happened in November '09. The drawing, indicating helicopters filled with defense personnel looking ready to strike, was deeply evocative because it reflected the confusion, trauma and tragedy that the terrrorist attack left on India and the world. It was difficult to believe that a child had interpreted the incident so poignantly and drawn this on paper. I think I felt tears in my eyes.

Jithu showed Adi how to draw without spilling colors here and there. He did it with infinite patience and very slowly. I think that left a wonderful impression on Adi who suddenly developed a great interest in coloring. Out of the blue, he began coloring, coloring and coloring.

Our Tamil neighbor in Delhi has a daughter who is very artistic. She makes beautiful wall paintings, glass paintings and drawings. Entering their home is like walking into an art gallery, where colors and strokes are masterfully blended. She became so popular that other neighbors began requesting her to paint their walls and do glass paintings at a reasonable price. More than anything, talent, particularly, young talent must never be wasted.

It struck me that painting or drawing is not just about using a crayon or a paintbrush but about making choices like what details to mirror in their drawing, what colors to choose and how to capture what they see in their young minds on paper. Children learn various aspects like shapes, colors, textures, and sizes when they draw consistently.

Another very important activity is learning to color within those black lines in the activity book. Adi and I practise this over the weekends. He loves joining the dots too. Typically, he rushes to choose a color and somehow fill in the blank space in a rush, sometimes leaving white spaces here and there, which I point out to him and say, "Can I fill up that white space please?" and he rushes to do it himself. (Read: ownership)

Now, when Adi colors within the lines, I encourage him to go slow and not rush through it. He is trying to focus on doing a good job of it now but sometimes the colors do spill out and I reassure him that its ok, we will do better next time.

Coloring within lines is important because it helps kids to judge with their eyes on the work while working with their hands. They learn without even realizing they are learning. So, let me get back to Adi, he has crayons in his hand. We have to get back to coloring together:)


Priyadarshani said…
hey! very neat piece. I couldn't agree more with the way you have linked some things that we hardly notice to important personality traits. Will be helpful when I start teaching my son how to colur :-)
GentleLavender said…
I'm glad you found the article useful. I will continue to plug in such thoughts and experiences I have with my son. Its the only way for us, moms, to share and learn from each other.

Keep writing in, thanks:)

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