I was 20 years old when my love affair with coloring was re-ignited. Just about to fly home on a 14 hour flight from New Zealand, I was in the airport book store looking for a magazine to pass some hours when my eye was caught by an intriguing looking coloring book. I thought to myself: 14 hour flight....why not try coloring? Armed with a box of pencil crayons and not really expecting my interest to last long, I fastened my seat belt as the plane began its take-off. Thinking full well that the coloring would only last a few minutes before I was lured into the mega-selection of in-flight movies, I was curiously surprised when 30 minutes passed...then an hour...and then 2 hours and I had not even checkout out the movie selection! I had finished my first page in my brand new coloring book and still had 12 hours of flying time left. The rest of the flight passed quickly and gloriously. My love for coloring has only deepened, and here are the reasons why.
The material. Some coloring books offer the ability for the child to simply run over the surface with the pens or crayons provided, and it will turn out to be the right color regardless. Some are more like paint books, and some have magic marker surfaces and come with markers that will not show up on any surface but the specially prepared book pages. Choose the book that best suits you and your child. If you are worried about markings on the walls, then dont select a pack of basic crayons, get something that uses special crayons. If you want your child to exercise their own creativity and not have to fit in the lines or color schemes planned, get basic pages. It is up to you.
So why the fascination, and how can they help you? In the most basic sense, the act of applying colored media to intricate line drawings is a benefit to relaxation and stress reduction. You are able to put the outside world aside for the moment and focus on the art of coloring singularly. Studies have shows that anxiety levels dropped in adults that colored. They did note that simple doodling had no affect on anxiety. The focus on coloring and switching off the brain allows that blocking of anxiety in the moment. Coloring does not have a need for complicated thought processes and like listening to calming music, you are able to get within yourself, isolated from external anxiety, commotion, and distractions.