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Yup!! I loved coloring pages as a kid, enjoy it now. It can be very relaxing.
As a classroom teacher (Kindergarten) I use coloring sheets occasionally. I
have found that it helps to develop fine motor skills and control, as well
as patience and color experimentation. (Outline with a contrasting color,
use an eraser to create a different texture.)
But coloring is rarely mandatory, and I don't call it "art". It's kind of a
way to finish a paper if they choose, but they can read a book instead.
Some kids enjoy it, some don't. Some prefer freehand drawing, others like
the pre-print, some like both and some like neither.
One thing about the crayons though. When they got their 24 pack in March I
did a little lesson about color theory and the reason that there were 3
oranges and 2 purples and the different greens etc. The kids really enjoyed
it and seemed to understand. A couple of children were absent and sure
enough when they got theirs the next day they came to me with their
"extras" in hand. (I had to explain and show them.)
I believe that the reason this little lesson in color theory was so
successful was that they were old enough to differentiate between the
purples and blues and it had meaning in their lives. I am far more
effective when I take the time to match lessons with child's development
and the meaning to his life.
On a somewhat different aspect, try watercolors on some simple coloring
sheets to give the kids a feel for the medium. Color the outline and use
the paints as a color resist for a nice effect. (It's not "art" I suppose,
but it's fun.) (g)