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Hi all;

 

I'm involved in an ongoing dispute with my setting's Improvement Advisor from the LEA. The setting recently underwent a quality review and was judged at a 3c so I've been moved in as interim manager to boost standards. On the previous two meetings she's noticed colouring sheets (out of a colouring book) on the mark making table; and has informed me that these aren't good practice and could affect the quality review. She went on to explain that we're putting expectations onto children, and enforcing an 'end-product' onto them.

 

We merely added the colouring-in sheets because we had a child that LOVES to colour. So to support 'a unique child' and personalise activities for her interests. We put no expectations onto children in regards to using correct colours or colouring in the lines, I explained that it was the adult preconception of the expectations because of our understanding of 'colouring-in' sheets. Any way, well all know children - they'll do absolutely whatever they want to anyway.

 

 

Does anybody else have the same problems? or provide colouring sheets for children?

 

SORRY FOR RANTING. (this is my first topic too....horah for me!!) :o

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welcome to the board! Colouring sheets usually brings out a mixed reaction on the forum (try doing a search and you'll probably find many a discussion!!) personally we do have them out at times, and like you, the children do what they want with them! They are merely there to get the children's interests, if they like Pepper Pig for example and are just settling in, they have been great to have on the table for distraction and discussion. Some just want to take them home, some want to colour (how ever they want) some like to cut round the edges, or glue all over them, the choice is completely theirs.

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Hi KarlyJarv, I personally don't like colouring sheets because I distinctly remember as a child the absolute frustration I felt when I touched a line, I didn't even need to go over it!!

 

I do think they can maybe deter some children from having a go at drawing too, because they cant make it look like the one in the book. There's a little story about a boy who drew horses but stopped when he was given a book of horses to colour in.

 

I would think though that as they are merely available to select amongst a variety of paper/card, then I'd probably stick to my guns. Why deny one child something they enjoy, I know some people find it quite relaxing. Or you could hide them when your advisor next visits if she's going to make an issue of it, I have been guilty to nodding and then doing my own thing on occasion. :o

 

Have you seen the anti colouring book? I had one for for my lads, there were bits to colour and bits to finish in whatever way you wanted to.

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Hi KarlyJarv, I personally don't like colouring sheets because I distinctly remember as a child the absolute frustration I felt when I touched a line, I didn't even need to go over it!!

 

I do think they can maybe deter some children from having a go at drawing too, because they cant make it look like the one in the book. There's a little story about a boy who drew horses but stopped when he was given a book of horses to colour in.

 

I would think though that as they are merely available to select amongst a variety of paper/card, then I'd probably stick to my guns. Why deny one child something they enjoy, I know some people find it quite relaxing. Or you could hide them when your advisor next visits if she's going to make an issue of it, I have been guilty to nodding and then doing my own thing on occasion. :o

 

Have you seen the anti colouring book? I had one for for my lads, there were bits to colour and bits to finish in whatever way you wanted to.

 

I guess it's quite a subjective issue. I'll definitely stick to my guns, I like a nice debate with my advisor from time to time. I've just googled the anti colouring book, looks great. I wouldn't mind one myself. I'm the kind that find it therapeutic.

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Hi,

 

I personally hate colouring in but lots of our children love it, so we have colouring in. It often leads to free drawing, moving on to the painting area, gluing, etc. It is not a compulsory activity, totally free choice, different crayons, pens, glitter, etc. are put out too. The pictures are either of something we know the children in that day are into and often an extension of an activity the day before, so fits well into the interest led activities of the EYFS! I have even printed off a sheet for parents etc. as to why we offer colouring in and an example of how a simple picture became a work of art involving glue, glitter and masking tape and a long story from the child as to what it was all about.

 

We also find it's a bit like the play dough table. You can do it without too much thought if that is how you are feeling at the time, and can have some lovely conversations with the children. Some staff, parents, and even children find it quite relaxing.

 

I agree that it could hold back some children's creativity if they are perfectionists but those who have absolutely no confidence in drawing might never even try to draw a picture but could be encouraged by being able to produce a picture by colouring one in.

 

There is no easy answer but it really depends on you and your children and what makes you all happy and achieve.

 

Sharky.

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I personally don't like colouring sheets because I distinctly remember as a child the absolute frustration I felt when I touched a line, I didn't even need to go over it!!

Interesting that point of view...someone when they first explained colouring sheets to you must have used a phrase such as 'you colour and keep in the lines' however if you have them on a mark making table and when a small child effectively scribbles all over the sheet in one colour the practitioner says 'oh what a pretty picture or what a clever little person you are' I would think the fear of lines would never occur.

 

We had them in our setting and they were glued on, coloured in/on/over front and back, cut up and all the bits either stuck somewhere else or just on the floor or completely ignored while an adult such as myself would draw a picture free hand for a child to be glued on, coloured in/on/over front and back, cut up and all the bits either stuck somewhere else or just on the floor!

 

They can be a useful settling in tool as said by printing off pictures of familiar things, TV characters, Disney princesses etc

 

I had one child who would sit with me at the table but wouldn't do anything because I was watching her....so I started colouring in a picture and so she started her version of colouring a picture. This went on for several sessions just sitting together colouring (I got quite good by the way) and then one day I was in another room and when I walked through she was happily sitting colouring with another child and from there gained confidence to go off and try other activities, often along side the adult to start as with the colouring and then solo.

 

Presented to the children in a non-prescriptive way with additional resources added to extend the activity and varied regularly I can't really see them as a huge problem.....just my opinion.

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Interesting that point of view...someone when they first explained colouring sheets to you must have used a phrase such as 'you colour and keep in the lines'

 

I dont remember but if they did it was probably my tidy friend Louise, who always seemed cleaner then me!

 

 

You could present colouring sheets in the way my art teacher presented 'paint by numbers'. Mix up the colours, do a tree in blue, a green sky, red clouds ect, see what they come up with, that way its about the colours they use and not about keeping within the lines.

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I hate them sorry and dont have them in my setting, there are so many other ways to promote creativity

I do not think any of my children suffer because they do not have colouring sheets and i know that from bits and pieces they can use their imagination and create some wonderful things

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I hate them sorry and dont have them in my setting, there are so many other ways to promote creativity

I do not think any of my children suffer because they do not have colouring sheets and i know that from bits and pieces they can use their imagination and create some wonderful things

 

I wouldn't imagine any children would suffer due to the absence of colouring sheets; and on the flip side I'm most certain they don't suffer due to being able to access them either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We had a big discussion about this last night at uni - two of the girl said that they weren't allowed to use them in their settings as it stiffled the children's creativity. However last year I had a little chap who was six months off starting reception, a summer born boy, who had never picked up a mark making implement. He was heavily into Thomas the Tank, when we had read the book I suggested that we draw a picture but he wasn't having it. The next day I left a Thomas colouring in sheet on the table with the 'blank' stuff and he chose to mark make on it. I am not convinced with the 'school readiness' agenda but I do believe we have a responsibility to try and make transition as smooth as possible and prepare them as much as we can for what is to come and is inevitable that they will be expected to pick up a pencil when they are in school. I don't think a resource should be outlawed in such a way as responsible and knowledgable practiioners would never suggest 'stay within the lines' it is our preconception of the lines that is the problem. If they inspire, comfort or encourage children to try an activity then I don't see the problem.

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very well siad Vicky. I wholeheartedly agree. Colouring sheets are just pieces of paper, it's us oldies who see them as prescriptive and limiting (due to the way we were TAUGHT to use them), not the children, who I have observed undertaking amazingly creative work using them.

 

To my mind saying that colouring sheets have no place in the early years classroom is like saying children shouldn't play with jigsaw puzzles because the pieces only fit together one way, or that story books limit creativity as the story is prescriptive.....true only if that's the way you use the resourse. All resources have limited value, what makes them great resourses is the way we as practitioners support the way children use them. Stand by your guns Karly Jarv... (but be prepared to argue your corner over and over and over again!!)

 

Ok will get off soap box now.

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very well siad Vicky. I wholeheartedly agree. Colouring sheets are just pieces of paper, it's us oldies who see them as prescriptive and limiting (due to the way we were TAUGHT to use them), not the children, who I have observed undertaking amazingly creative work using them.

 

To my mind saying that colouring sheets have no place in the early years classroom is like saying children shouldn't play with jigsaw puzzles because the pieces only fit together one way, or that story books limit creativity as the story is prescriptive.....true only if that's the way you use the resourse. All resources have limited value, what makes them great resourses is the way we as practitioners support the way children use them. Stand by your guns Karly Jarv... (but be prepared to argue your corner over and over and over again!!)

 

Ok will get off soap box now.

 

 

You know, that's a very good point. I've never heard that before but it's a good argument. I don't mind colouring in sheets personally because it's how you use them I think.

 

An interesting question has occured, for those who don't allow colouring sheets in their setting, what would you do if a child requested one? Perhaps this has never happened, I'm sure most children don't miss them at all if they aren't provided, but what would you do if this situation occured?

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I think far too big a deal is made out of colouring sheets. I let my class have them if they want them, either way it doesn't bother me.

I do think they can be useful in lots of different ways, including all those already mentioned in previous posts and I don't think they do any harm.

Lots of people argue that they stifle creativity and children will be afraid to draw because their picture won't be as good as the printed one. Does the same go for writing? Should we never show children any writing because they will worry that they can't do it exactly the same and so then they won't write?!

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I think if I was going to be graded down because I had added a few colouring sheets to all the other marvellous resources on offer, I would be asking the Advisor to point me in the direction of the research that backed up her point of view.

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