Education | Children | Classroom Activities | Mental Health | Mindfulness - Gratitude

11 Benefits of Mindfulness Coloring Pages for Kids and Adults

A Cover Image For A Post About The Incredible Benefits Of Mindfulness Coloring.

Most children enjoy being creative with pencils and crayons. But did you know there are impressive reasons beyond fun for encouraging the use of mindfulness coloring pages for kids and adults? 

The significant benefits of coloring pages are now being realised for all age groups as it takes its place alongside yoga and meditation as an enjoyable way to improve physical and mental wellbeing.

More...

As we highlight the vast reasons to use coloring pages we hope that teachers and parents are inspired to use them as a mindfulness tool to help children to calm down and refocus. The added bonus of mindfulness coloring is that it promotes creativity and improves fine motor skills, and it's not just for primary and elementary school students - high schools and universities use it too! 

Benefits of Mindfulness Coloring for Kids 

Coloring can be a highly effective way of fostering physical and psychological wellness in children. While it's a relaxing form of self-expression that stimulates creativity it also promotes a range of benefits to nurture wellbeing by reducing stress, anger and anxiety.

Quote Left Marks

Our study confirmed evidence for the benefits of colouring on mood that has been found in earlier studies, but the findings on mindfulness, creativity and visual attention are new and exciting.

Quote Right Marks

• Enhances fine motor development

Coloring is an activity that helps children build the muscles in their fingers, hand, and wrist to aid in manipulating small objects.

Very young children start by grabbing a crayon in their fist and putting it to paper. As their fine motor skills develop, they start to grip it with their fingers and eventually learn to manipulate their crayon beyond a random scribble. These are the first steps toward being able to draw or write with a pencil or pen, an essential skill required for future learning. 

Click here to read why it's so important to develop fine motor skills.

Quote Left Marks

When combined with increasing hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills also open new doors to exploration, learning, and creative expression.

In order to learn to write or draw, for example, a child's hand must be strong and coordinated enough to hold a pencil steady for a long period of time.

Quote Right Marks

• Improves hand-eye coordination

According to Access Therapy Services, "hand-eye coordination refers to our ability to process information received from the eyes to guide and direct the hands to perform a task."

They place great importance on hand-eye coordination stating that "if children don’t develop their coordination skills, they might:

  • Avoid physical activities
  • Be slower than their peers when it comes to mastering physical skills
  • Become clumsy
  • Have difficulty learning academically
  • Have trouble developing their social skills

Their recommendation for developing these skills includes coloring and painting. 

Quote Left Marks

New research findings show that young children with better eye-to-hand coordination scored higher on basic academic skills compared to their less-dexterous peers. The results, published in Psychological Science, signal an important relationship between children’s ability to physically interact with their environment and their cognitive development.

Quote Right Marks

• Develops spatial awareness

Visual perception is an important skill to develop in young children. Coloring can help strengthen awareness of the hand's position and margins on the page to help children keep their pencil within a given area.

7 Kindness Or Mindfulness Coloring Bookmarks For Elementary And Primary School Children

• Builds concentration and focus

When children are asked to color between the lines, they may need to concentrate more than they would with freeform drawing. Because they are contained to a specific area, they will need to stay focussed on the space they have to fill and be more precise in their application.  

• Promotes creativity and self-expression

Coloring allows children to express their individuality through color selection and medium. It's interesting to observe how much pressure they apply, the color choices they make, and whether they color loosely or tightly. Everyone is different and so is each masterpiece. One study also showed that using mindfulness coloring pages can increase the novelty and variety displayed in the pictures they create. 

Quote Left Marks

Sixty-four children in kindergarten and first grade were asked to color one of three pictures which varied in complexity. Following the coloring exercise the children were administered the CIRCUS: Make a Tree, a measure of divergent pictorial production which yields three scores (Appropriateness, Unusualness, Difference). A one-way ANOVA revealed a main effect of the coloring exercise in Unusualness and Difference. The findings suggest that giving children models to color can increase the novelty displayed in their subsequent productions, and that giving children complex models to color can increase the variety displayed in the pictures that they make.

Quote Right Marks

• Teaches colour and shape recognition

Filling in the spaces with color on a printed page helps children to recognise hue, perspective, shape and form as well as giving them an opportunity to explore different color combinations.

• Relaxes and releases emotions

Coloring can have a profoundly therapeutic and calming effect on children as they shift their focus to concentrate on finishing their picture. This peaceful activity can provide an outlet for processing emotions and take the focus off challenging situations.

Quote Left Marks

Coloring enthusiasts claim that coloring makes them feel calmer, mentally clearer, happier, and more relaxed.

When engaged in their hobby, “colorists,” as they call themselves, say that their worries temporarily fade away.

This is not surprising when you consider that all arts and crafts hobbies have the power to focus the mind similarly to meditation. 

Quote Right Marks

Even renowned psychologist Carl Jung knew the benefits as he had his patients coloring mandalas for relaxation and self-discovery.

Benefits of mindfulness coloring for adults

One of the things that convinced me about the benefits of coloring for adults is an article I read by an art therapist and psychotherapist who saw first-hand the changes in her clients when she put coloring books in her waiting room. She echoes many who believe in the power of coloring. The following are some of the benefits I feel are most noteworthy to mention:

• Modern self-help tool

When testing to measure improvements in psychological outcomes, a study concluded that coloring helped lower depression and anxiety, calling it a highly accessible self-help tool.

Quote Left Marks

In 2 experiments, undergraduates colored and participated in a control condition. Subjective and performance measures of mood and mindfulness were included: an implicit mood test (Experiment 1) and a selective attention task (Experiment 2) along with a divergent thinking test. In both experiments, coloring significantly reduced anxiety and increased mindfulness compared with control and baseline scores. Following coloring, participants scored significantly lower on implicit fear than the control condition, and significantly higher on selective attention and original ideation. Coloring might not only reduce anxiety, but also improve mindful attention and creative cognition.

Quote Right Marks


• Coloring helps maintain focus

Coloring is becoming accepted within a University setting as a tool for students to maintain focus. Theresa Citerella, a student studying art therapy at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. said that “A lot of my fellow graduate classmates bring these coloring books into the classroom setting as a tool to focus more on lectures.” She explained that more professors are beginning to welcome this behavior. 

Quote Left Marks

For my internship, I find the clients who are fidgeting and cannot sit still ask for coloring in books in order to concentrate on group discussions.

Quote Right Marks

• Coloring can help you sleep

It's well documented that using light-emitting electronic devices prior to going to bed delays the circadian clock and suppresses levels of melatonin (a sleep-promoting hormone) which results in more time required before falling asleep. Most of us are guilty of using such devices in the evening so if sleeping is an issue, replacing devices with coloring books can be beneficial.

Mandala Coloring

• An alternative to yoga or meditation

A psychologist in Melbourne, Australia is an avid fan of coloring for helping his clients relax and unwind. Dr. Stan Rodski shared that he was having trouble getting his clients to use traditional techniques such as breathing, yoga and meditation to help control anxiety. When he saw how quickly and easily coloring relaxed children, he decided to research it as an alternative for adults and found it helped them achieve the same deep sense of relaxation. 

Quote Left Marks

Five minutes of colouring a day is enough to get the same effect on the brain as about an hour worth of conventional meditation.

DR. RODSKI, Colourtation Brain Science
Quote Right Marks

"If you look at it from the brain perspective, when they started colouring their brain recognised it as a happy place and it helped them to feel quite youthful again," Dr. Rodski said.

"It’s a carefree happiness because with that childhood memory comes a sense of no responsibility, accountability or pressure, and the brain reacts to that."

He's so convinced of the little known power of coloring that he even created his own range of coloring meditation books. 

Anti Stress Meditation Through Colouring
Modern Meditation

How does coloring help people relax?

When people are stressed or anxious, they can find it difficult to stay focused in the present moment. That essentially means that their thoughts are centred around their worries or to-do list instead of what's happening right in front of them at the given time.

The act of coloring is likened to meditation or mindfulness in that it gives people something else to focus their attention on. When the brain is focused on a simple activity that takes us outside of ourselves and with a predictable outcome, it's able to relax.

Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia explains: "You have to look at the shape and size, you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a colour. It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery happening as well. Anything that helps you control your attention is going to help.”

Gratitude Coloring Pages For Children For Thanksgiving

It's amazing that something so simple and enjoyable can have so many unknown benefits for users of all ages.

We invite you to give it a try with your children at home or in the classroom with these free coloring pages or if you'd like to enjoy a mindful activity yourself, we have one for you too!

Share your experiences

We'd love to see your results and hear how coloring benefits you and your children so please feel free to share your experiences and photos of your masterpieces!  


You may also like...
Lis

AUTHOR: Lisa Currie - Ripple Kindness Project
Lisa is passionate about contributing to a happier world by building emotional intelligence in kids through fun and engaging social-emotional learning resources. Her core value is kindness as she believes it to be the “mother” of all character traits. She started Ripple Kindness Project to spread kindness in schools and communities. She is also the founder and director of an outreach program that supports disadvantaged families.  

2 Comments

  1. My wife and I like to go to church with our children, but we often have to leave early because they get too anxious from all of the sitting. I like how you mentioned that coloring can have a calming effect on kids. It seems like it would be a good idea for us to get our children some coloring books so that they can have something to keep themselves busy with at church.

    1. RippleKindness says:

      Great for adults too. When I was taking my mum for cancer treatment they had adult colouring books in the waiting room. They were great for calming our anxious minds as we usually had quite a wait.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *