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The meaning of Coloring Books and Their Uses


A coloring book is a book in which images are drawn using outlines and which readers can fill up and colour by using things such as colorful pencils, pens, crayons and also other differing types of paint and colors. Children are the ones who primarily use coloring books, however, even adults have coloring books. These coloring books, and coloring pages and sheets are generally printed out on paper or cardboard, and some books are created so that each page can be removed from the book once it is completed and used as a stand-alone coloring page. Some coloring books may incorporate a story that small children could follow, therefore the pages can’t be torn out of books. Coloring pages very commonly include animation or cartoon characters that little children 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. 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.


Coloring Books History

The earliest coloring book was produced in America. 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 artistic works of Johann Pestalozzi who was an educator from Switzerland and Friedrich Fröbel who was a German pupil of his, also inspired this process. Educators from different backgrounds were in agreement that artistic education was useful to all because it developed cognitive abilities, and advanced peoples’ understanding of tangible things. As far as children were concerned, many educators found that art played a part in a child’s mental and spiritual growth.


The McLoughlin brothers are the two people who invented the coloring book. In the 1880’s they created a coloring book called The Little Folk’s Painting Book. Kate Greenway helped them with this first coloring book, and the McLoughlin Brothers' coloring book publication continued 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. 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. This book is what began 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

Coloring books are considered great tools for teaching young children a lot of things, which is why they can be commonly found in schools and classrooms. Coloring books covering endless topics can be found, such as numbers, animal names, and names of cities and continents. 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. Learning words through pictures is a great way of facilitating language learn in non-native speakers also. Images are also a great way to enhance and improve memory, and to assist in the understanding of certain topics like geometry and astronomy. Big 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.