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What are coloring books?
Coloring books consist of sketches designed to be filled and colored using a number of tools such as pencil, crayons and sharpies. Kids are the ones who predominantly use coloring books, but of course, even adults have coloring books. Coloring books and coloring pages are fashioned on cardboard sheets or papers. Some of the coloring pages can be bought separately or can be ripped off from the coloring books that are designed 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. Many coloring books these days include coloring pages of extremely popular cartoon characters, such as Lego Ninjago coloring pages or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coloring pages. Naturally, these coloring books are used by big companies as a way of advertising these new cartoons or their other products. Coloring is not the only activity that can be found in coloring books, as other activities include mazes, numbers, and lots of fun puzzles. Certain types of coloring books come with stickers which can be added to the pages that the kids color. Thus adding more character and fun to the whole activity.
The History of Coloring Books
The USA is the origin and birthplace of coloring books. This appearance was part of a process called the democratization of art. Josh Reynolds, an English artist was the person responsible for this process. The artistic works of Johann Pestalozzi who was an educator from Switzerland and Friedrich Fröbel who was a German student of his, also inspired this process. Instructors from all over agreed that an education in the arts was essential in developing cognitive skills and enhancing peoples' perception of the world. Art education would prove to be beneficial in a person's adult life also as many of the skills he learns might end up supporting him in his future careers. Spiritual, social and mental growth are all enhanced in young children who take part in artistic activities.
Coloring books were the invention 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. They collaborated with Kate Greenway on this project and the continued to publish coloring books well into 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. This book is what started the process of companies using coloring books as a means for advertising their products. These books were initially made to be painted instead of being colored, and despite the emergence and popularity of crayons in the 1930’s, this did not change.
Educational Uses of Coloring Books
Almost every classroom for little children and preschoolers has a coloring book available somewhere, as these books are used to educate kids on a number of topics. From alphabets to numbers you can find coloring books pertaining to every topic. Young 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 associating words with images is a magic formula of helping people acquire a new language. Images are also a wonderful way to enhance and improve memory, and to assist in the understanding of certain subjects like geometry and astronomy. 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.