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Top tips

The benefits of colouring

By | Top tips

The act of colouring in can provide so many life-long benefits for young children.  Here are just a few.

Motor skills
The act of colouring in can help improve fine motor skills in young children.  The motions involved in holding the tools, and colouring with them, can help in the development of tiny muscles in the wrist, fingers and hands.  This will, in turn, help young children to learn to write and manipulate other small objects.

Concentration, relaxation and patience
Colouring in requires lots of concentration and patience and the experience of focusing on the task can help a child develop his or her overall concentration levels.  It can also be a calming activity that provides an opportunity for children to slow down for a while and relax while creating their work of art.

Whether children stay in the lines or not, colouring in is a great stimulant for creative thinking and self-expression.   It provides children with an opportunity to develop a drawing style and enjoy creating an imaginary world. Children can also learn to plan as they make decisions about which colours they will use in their picture for different parts, and what order they will colour things in.  As their confidence grows, they can start to take risks and experiment with things like colour, patterns, themes and special effects.

Hand and eye co-ordination
The act of holding crayons, choosing colours, and using the colouring tool in a specified area can all assist in the development of hand and eye coordination.

Colour recognition
Colouring in gives children a wonderful opportunity to explore different colours and different colour combinations in a direct, hands-on, and engaging way.

Confidence and self-worth
Giving young children an opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth is never an opportunity to be missed.  Colouring in and completing the task can help to boost a child’s sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves when they can see what they have achieved.

Don’t forget, when you subscribe to Little Wise Toys (via the subscription box), you will receive a welcome gift of four printable colouring-in sheets of the Little Wise Toys’ zoo, farm, sea life and farm life collages for your little ones to enjoy.  The image in this blog is of the farm life sheet where my Artistic Director, Little Wise Junior, designed her colouring-in sheet to reflect some of the themes of the Little Wise Toys range (namely emotions, maths and phonics).

Happy colouring and here’s to the many wonderful benefits that it brings!

Making reading fun

By | Top tips

Making reading for children fun

We all know that reading with children from an early age is a good thing.  Just some of the many benefits include:

  • a higher aptitude for learning;
  • laying the foundations for learning phonics;
  • enhanced speech and communication skills;
  • a wonderful opportunity to explore life experiences, emotions and feelings; and
  • a nurturing opportunity where you can slow down together for a while.

Here are ten things you can do to make the most out of your reading time, and help to make it a fun activity for children.

  • Try and read every day, if you can, even if only for a few minutes.  This helps to model reading as a daily part of life.
  • Create a cosy reading spot together.  You can use a comfortable chair, bean bags, floor pillows, or whatever helps to make a nice area for you to share reading time together.
  • Keep books within reach.  Your child may lose interest if their books are hard to reach.  So, store books in an accessible place, such as a small bookcase, shelf or stand.
  • Encourage children to choose their own books.  They know what keeps their interest.  It also helps them to feel important knowing that they can have the responsibility of helping to pick a book.
  • Talk about the front and back cover of the book.  This helps children to understand how the layout of a book works.  It also provides plenty of opportunity for conversation (e.g. ‘Can you guess what this book is about?’; ‘What is the title of this book?’; ‘Do you remember reading any other books by the same author?’).
  • Help to bring the book alive.  This can really help children to become absorbed in a story.  You can do this by changing your voice and facial expressions to go with the character and action.
  • Ask some questions throughout to help children to explore and engage with the story (e.g. ‘What do you think is going to happen next?’; ‘What do you think he is feeling right now?’; ‘Do you remember a time when you felt like this?’).
  • Point out the pictures throughout the story.  This can help children to develop a deeper understanding and connection with the story; and the images can bring humour too.
  • Children love to voice their opinions.  When you have finished the story, ask them to let you know what they think of it by giving a thumbs-up, down, or in-between.  Ask questions also such as ‘Would you change the story at all?’.
  • Get your child a library card.  Children can have lots of fun picking out their own books, and checking them out with their very own library card.

Happy reading…