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Coloring Books - What Are They?


Coloring books incorporate sketches produced to be filled and colored utilizing a number of tools such as pencil, crayons and sharpies. There are coloring books for both adults and little children. These coloring books, and coloring pages and sheets are usually printed out on paper or cardboard, and some books are created so that each page can be detached from the book once it is completed and used as a stand-alone coloring page. Some coloring books may contain a story that kids could follow, therefore the pages can’t be torn out of books. Coloring pages very commonly include animation or cartoon characters that small 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. Another type of activity includes coloring books that come with stickers that can be attached on certain pages on these books.


Coloring Books History

The first coloring book was manufactured in America. This introduction 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. Teachers from all over agreed that an education in the arts was crucial in developing cognitive skills and enhancing peoples' perception of the world. Art education would prove to be valuable in a person's adult life also as many of the skills he learns might end up assisting him in his future careers. Spiritual, social and mental growth are all enhanced in young children who partake in artistic activities.


The inventors of the coloring book are 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. 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. Another man credited for the progress of coloring books is Richard Outcault. 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.


The Uses of Coloring Books in Education

Almost every classroom for young children and preschoolers has a coloring book available somewhere, as these books are used to educate kids on a number of topics. The topics for coloring books cover everything under the sun, like flowers, cartoons, alphabets, and even fruits and vegetables. 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. They are also utilized in particular classes as a way of enhancing creativity and knowledge of different topics such as geometry. 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.