It's doubtful that
any of us went through childhood without putting crayon to
paper. Yet, as we raise our own children, it often puzzles
us as to why such a simple task is so important to childhood
Of course, we learn
our colors in this way. But, that's a very obvious
answer and far too superficial. Let's delve a little
deeper into the connection between color and the human psyche.
We're first introduced to the three primary
colors of red, blue and yellow early in our
education. Our intellect and emotions are
unrefined and undeveloped at that point. Our
need for color is very basic. In fact, young
children may use only one color for several weeks
before trying the next possibility.
Hues and Shades
As our intellect
expands, we begin to combine these primary colors to create
different hues and shades. Concurrently, our personality
and emotional boundaries begin to develop layers or hues as
well. Thus, we can chart our emotional growth by our
use of color.
Even though coloring
is approached as purely play, from Pre-K, we all define
ourselves with the world of color. Do you recall having a
favorite crayon color as a child? Most of us do.
Children are strongly affected by colors and use them to express
feelings that cover the full range of human emotions. That
favorite color gives comfort and produces a state well-being
while another color may cause unease and discomfort.
aspect of experiencing color has been used as a tool for
diagnosing disturbed and abused children. It's considered
a reliable barometer of a child's emotional development.
So, the next time
your child spends hours stretched out on the floor with crayons
and coloring pages strewn from one end of the living room to the
other, remember they are in the midst of developing their
emotional flexibility. They are expressing themselves with
color...hopefully their enthusiasm won't spill onto your