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Coloring Books - What Are They?


Small children are the ones who primarily use coloring books, but of course, even adults have coloring books. These coloring books, and coloring pages and sheets are normally printed out on paper or cardboard, and some books are fashioned so that each page can be detached from the book once it is finished and used as a stand-alone coloring page. Many coloring books have a special theme or tell a story, which means the pages can't be torn out them or the book loses its purpose. These days, it's very common to find coloring books of really popular cartoon characters or stories, such as The Little Mermaid Coloring Pages or My Little Pony Coloring Pages. These coloring books are utilized by huge companies as advertising materials and ways of popularizing new cartoons or films. Lots of other fun activities can be found in children’s coloring books, like number games, mazes, connecting the dots and of course puzzles. 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

Coloring books first appeared in the US. The reason for the emergence of coloring books and pages was the process of democratizing art. The person who inspired this process was an English artist named Josh Reynolds. Friedrich Fröbel from Germany and his Swiss teacher, Johann Pestalozzi assisted in inspiring this process. Teachers from all over agreed that an education in the arts was crucial in developing cognitive skills and enhancing peoples' perception of the world. Education in art also facilitated a person’s ability to develop skills very important down the road, particularly those relating to finding a suitable future job. Educators assert that little children who are involved in art education can be expected to develop emotionally, mentally, spiritually and also socially.


The creators of the coloring book are the McLoughlin Brothers. 'The Little Folk's Painting Book' was the earliest coloring book made by them 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 man who really helped the progression of the coloring book. In 1907, Richard created a coloring book called Buster's Paint Book which was based on a character he had created in 1902 named Buster Brown. The publication of this book was the push that gave companies the idea of using coloring books for advertising purposes. At first, these initial coloring books were created for readers to paint and not color them. Surprisingly Enough, This Didn't Change With The Increasing popularity of crayons in the 1930's.


The Uses of Coloring Books in Education

These days coloring books are commonly used in schools for teaching children about different things. The topics for coloring books cover everything under the sun, like flowers, cartoons, alphabets, and even fruits and vegetables. Images are easier to recall for little children, and coloring them is more exciting than other methods of learning, which is why coloring books are an excellent way of learning. It is a known fact that connecting words with images is a faster way of helping people acquire a new language. Not to mention using images to expand people's familiarity with certain topics like geometry, which require visual assistance to help understand the theories. Since the 1980's, coloring books have been produced for adults. These books were made by publishers who were hoping to facilitate the process of acquiring knowledge on the topics of physiology or anatomy for students on a graduate level. As mentioned before, these images made memorizing and recalling the information easier.