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Coloring Books - What Are They?


A coloring book is a book in which images are drawn using lines and which readers can fill and colour by making use of such things as colorful pencils, pens, crayons and also other various kinds of paint and colors. Coloring books and coloring pages are designed on cardboard sheets or papers. Some of the coloring pages are sold individually or can be torn off from the coloring books that are created to allow that. In the case where they pages of the coloring book have a sequence or tell a story, they can't be torn out or used as stand-alone pages because that would ruin the story. Coloring pages very commonly include animation or cartoon characters that youngsters are very fond of, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coloring pages or Cinderella Coloring pages. Naturally, these coloring books are used by big companies as a way of advertising these new cartoons or their other products. 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.


Coloring Books History

Coloring books first surfaced in the US. A process called the democratization of art was the reason for the birth of coloring books. Josh Reynolds, an English artist was the person responsible for this process. The other two teachers who helped this process were Johann Pestalozzi from Switzerland and the German Friedrich Fröbel who was his student. Various teachers and educators from all over the world knew the significance of art and the value of teaching art to people, in particular kids. The development of cognitive abilities, problem solving skills and social skills were all parts of benefit art provided. Education in art also facilitated a person’s ability to develop skills essential later in life, specially those relating to finding a suitable future job. Spiritual, social and mental growth are all enhanced in small children who take part in artistic activities.


The McLoughlin brothers are the two people who invented the coloring book. 'The Little Folk's Painting Book' was the initial coloring book made by them in the 1880's. They collaborated with Kate Greenway on this project and the continued to publish coloring books well into the 1920’s. That is when Brothers McLoughlin joined the Milton Bradley firm. Richard Outcault is another fundamental figure in the history of coloring books. 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. This book is what began the process of companies using coloring books as a means for advertising their products. 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 kids and preschoolers has a coloring book available somewhere, as these books are used to educate young children on a number of topics. Coloring books covering endless topics can be found, such as numbers, animal names, and names of cities and continents. Images are easier to recall for kids, 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 magic formula of helping people acquire a new language. Not to mention using images to expand people's comprehension of certain topics like geometry, which require graphic 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 remembering the information easier.