|Image: Piotr Siedlecki|
Coloring for Adults
I had not been married long when I went to work as a cashier at a local department store. The manager was strict, and high-strung, but his wife told me he was not like that at home.
The occasion came when I asked him how he managed to be calm and serene at home, when he was so frenetic at work. He laughed and said his wife bought him coloring books. He said coloring helped him to settle.
When he got home from work, he sat in his recliner and colored at least three pages before he spoke to her or his kids. The simple action of coloring helped him settle and put the day behind him, so that his family never saw the strained man we saw every day.
Though I was careful not to tell him, at the time, I thought it was so much silliness. After all, a grown man coloring in a coloring book?
In the intervening years, I have learned that sometimes just sitting and doing something that does not require a lot of thought is all it takes to settle a troubled mind. That something can be working a crossword puzzle or a word search, reading a book, watching a movie, knitting, crocheting, sewing, or, yes, even coloring.
Coloring Books are Not
Just for Kids, Anymore!
A few years after my manager told me that, I was a representative for a company that sold art supplies for painting on fabric. The paints had ball-point tips, and it occurred to me one day that we were basically coloring, since we also sold the pictures, some with just outlines, and some shaded, for our customers to paint as well as the paints. Again, I was struck by how true his statement was, that coloring, or painting on fabric in that case, helped me settle when I was tense or upset.
When my son was homeschooling, I found an adult coloring book on Biology by Dover Publications. Knowing kinetic activities help with learning, I was thrilled to have found it. It was a great supplement to his textbook, and I used it a few years later as a study guide when I started college to help me in my own Biology class (a whole other story).
About three years ago, I started seeing people creating and posting adult coloring pages online. I was intrigued. I even printed out a few and used colored pencils (my favorite are Prismacolor pencils) to color them. Similar to doodling, which I do a lot of, the coloring was interesting, calming, and fun.
Dover still has educational coloring books, but they also have sets such as the Creative Haven Coloring Books - for experienced adult colorists. Now, these are not what some people would think of when they thing of adult--there are no indecent images, just intricate designs that would be beyond the attention span and ability of children to color.
If you are interested, but not sure, Dover has a set of free coloring page and book excepts Dover coloring books for you to try, and they have more than just coloring books, too. In fact, many of Dover's books, including the coloring books, work well as homeschool textbooks or supplemental texts for grades K-12.
They have a large variety of books on sale, too.