Why Don't Younger Kids Color Within The Lines in Coloring Books?

As we all know, coloring a book has very positive effects on kids. It develops certain skills in the kids which help building their strong foundation. Parents and teachers tend to hand over a drawing to the children along with the crayons asking them to color within the lines when the child is of 3-5 years old. At this stage, very minimal skills are developed.

The reason why children are not able to color within the lines is probably due to the lack of practice. Their motor skills and spatial skills are yet developing and the child is not precise enough to draw or color within the lines.

Motoring Skills

This set of skills refers to little movements like the bending of the wrist and fingers. When the motoring skills are not fully developed, the child is only able to move large muscles with precision like dragging the crayons across the drawing using their arm muscles. However, when these skills are developed and the child holds grip on it, he/she is able to move with precision and draw more accurately.

“When children are really young, they scribble because they’re just using the movement of their arm and holding the crayon in their fist,” says Denise Bodman, Ph.D., a principal lecturer in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. “As their fine motor skills develop, they start using their fingers and wrist to move the crayon. That eventually leads to basic writing skills.”

Spatial Skills

This ability is the capacity of differentiating the size, measurement, boundaries and colors among different objects. When the children realize the boundaries on the drawing, they start to color within the lines. When these skills are not fully developed, children are not able to consider the borders of the drawing because of which they cannot color within the lines.

Spatial skills are very useful and are involved in everything. These skills help us from getting ourselves adjusted in a new environment to doing something physical.

Another reason why children are not able to draw within the lines is that in today’s world, they use crayons to color. Crayons are waxy and it is very hard to draw a straight line or color using them. Furthermore, crayons spread when they are rubbed with the palm or forearm of the child.

Some kids, who are more creative and do not want themselves to be limited within the lines, cannot color within the borders. They are experimenting and learning like adding an orange color with the yellow to see if it would look more attractive. This is age is very important for learning and the children of such ages tend to learn continuously with different experiments whether they are at the preschool or playing ground.

There could be a lot of reasons due to which the kids are not able to color within the lines of the drawing. However, with some practice and focus, they develop different skill sets and learn how to color and draw with precision.