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Coloring Books - What Are They?


Coloring books contain images designed to be filled and colored implementing a variety of tools such as pencil, crayons and sharpies. There are coloring books for both adults and kids. These coloring books, and coloring pages and sheets are typically printed out on paper or cardboard, and some books are created so that each page can be detached from the book once it is finished and used as a stand-alone coloring page. Some coloring books may incorporate a story that young children could follow, therefore the pages can’t be torn out of books. Coloring pages very commonly include animation or cartoon characters that children are very fond of, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coloring pages or Cinderella Coloring pages. These coloring books are utilized by huge companies as advertising materials and ways of popularizing new cartoons or films. Other activities available in coloring books and coloring pages are: puzzles, connecting the dots, and mazes and number games. Another type of activity includes coloring books that come with stickers that can be attached on certain pages on these books.


The History of Coloring Books

The 1st coloring book was made in America. This introduction was part of a process called the democratization of art. The man behind this process was an artist from England called Josh Reynolds. Friedrich Fröbel from Germany and his Swiss teacher, Johann Pestalozzi assisted in inspiring this process. Educators from all over agreed that an education in the arts was essential in developing cognitive skills and enhancing peoples' perception of the world. Education in art also facilitated a person’s ability to develop skills vital in the future, specifically those relating to finding a suitable future job. Educators assert that children who are involved in art education can be expected to develop emotionally, mentally, spiritually and also socially.


Coloring books were the development of the McLoughlin Brothers. The 'Little Folk's Painting Book was the McLoughlin Brother's first coloring book, and they made it in the 1880's. For this book, they worked with a lady called Kate Greenway, and they kept making coloring books until the 1920's. It was then that the McLoughlins joined the Milton Bradley firm. Richard Outcault is another primary figure in the history of coloring books. A coloring book called Buster's Paint Book was written by Richard in 1907. He had created a character in 1902 called Buster Brown, and this coloring book he made was based on this character. The publication of this book was the impetus that gave companies the idea of using coloring books for advertising purposes. The first coloring books were made with the thought that they should be painted and not colored, and despite the growing popularity of crayons in the 1930's, there was no change in this approach.


The Uses of Coloring Books in Education

Almost every classroom for youngsters and preschoolers has a coloring book available somewhere, as these books are used to educate youngsters on a number of topics. The topics for coloring books cover everything under the sun, like flowers, cartoons, alphabets, and even fruits and vegetables. Little children find these books easy and more engaging than other ways of learning as images are easier to remember and memorize compared to only words. It is a known fact that connecting words with images is a fast way of helping people acquire a new language. Not to mention using images to expand people's understanding of certain topics like geometry, which require visual assistance to help understand the theories. Significant publishers have been creating coloring books that target adults since the 1980's. These books were directed at graduate students of anatomy and physiology to make their learning experience better.