I love to color. It allows me to relax, indulge my creativity and just think (sometimes deep thoughts).  Those of you who follow Peaceful Patterns Coloring Therapy know the many benefits of coloring for adults, but maybe there is something we may have all missed…

Some of my fondest memories both of my childhood and the growing up years of my 6 children involve coloring together.  It is one thing to tell a child to go get their coloring books and color (usually to get them out of the way, quiet them down or to answer the “I’m bored!” litany.)

Coloring with you kids can be a delight for both of you.  It does indeed calm them down just as it does for adults.  Coloring is a happy time and allows you teaching moments that might not occur any other way.   I remember with fondness the time chatting blithely with my grandmother about pretty much anything that was going on in my head.  When I colored with my children there was real unity and they would open up while coloring unlike other times.

You know the drcrayons-1209804_1920ill.  They come home from school and mom asks: “So how was your day?”.  The child answers (most of the time) with one word.  “Fine.”  At this point you try again… “What did you learn today?”  …  “I don’t remember.”  The book bag gets taken to their room and the next thing you hear from them is, “What can I have to eat, I’m starving.” and so it goes.

I know we are all in a rush these days and often now when children come home from school, the first thing they want to do is get on a tablet or computer or hang out with their cell phone.  When you take time to offer to color WITH them, the focus changes, things calm down and the line to communication opens up.



Here are a few suggestions to make your coloring sessions with your kids fun and something they will actually look forward to:

  1. Make sure each child has a coloring book they actually like.  Let them pick one out that appeals to them.
  2. Don’t restrict them to “kids” coloring books.  Many adult coloring books are very whimsical and often have more interesting pages that kids can color with great joy and a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Have as many different art supply choices as you can manage: IE Crayons, Coloring Pencils, Markers (broad and fine-tipped), etc.  Don’t break your budget.  You can easily add to your collection of art supplies over time.
  4. Encourage your children (and yourself and your spouse) to display finished pieces in many ways: On family bulletin boards, on the walls in their room, on the fridge or even frame them nicely and use them to decorate your home.
  5. Don’t hammer them with questions while they color.  Let them bring up topics.  You may be surprised what comes out while you are in a safe coloring environment.
  6. Above all…KEEP IT FUN!

Coloring together may be a great new activity for you and your family.  Don’t force it.  Let it happen.  I promise, you will be glad you did.


6 Responses to “Bringing Your Family Closer With Coloring”

  1. Paul Dunstan

    Great post Bonnie.
    Actually, I love colouring – but never make time for it. I did Advanced Level Art at school and it really is something I ought to spend more time doing in order to chill out.
    My youngest daughter is an avid colouring fan. It is her current activity of choice. You are right that colouring together is a good thing. We need to do more of this as a family – especially with some of the more sophisticated books out there now (like yours!).

  2. Vic Waugh

    This is a great article Bonnie! There are so many great things that can come from spending quality time with your children and it can have such a positive impact on your relationship. Point number 5 is especially true, there is a really good parenting program in Australia called ‘Watch wait and wonder’ which put the emphasis on one to one time with your children, but it being completely child focused, so parents on speak and react in response to their children. It really is a great intervention!

  3. Chrisi

    When I visited my mom after my parents divorced she would take time to color with me. I remember being impressed even at a very young age that she would color with me. It made me feel safe and loved. Something I needed from her during those brief weekend visits.

    Great post Bonnie!

  4. Barbara Moss

    I love colouring in too. When I was teaching in the sixties and seventies, though, it was considered anathema. It was believed that making children keep ‘in the lines’ stifled their natural instincts for drawing and using colour. Ah well, so times change.
    Thanks Bonnie for reviving memories for me once again.

  5. Deborah Kramer

    Nice post Bonnie. Such a great reminder that coloring as a family helps kids open up and communicate with their parents in a natural way. It really is a perfect quality time activity!


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