Back in the day, I used to love a brand new box of Crayola Crayons. The 64-count box was magic to open – all those sharp points in a delicious array of colors. That waxy crayon smell? Heck yes. And the cool sharpener on the back of the box? Amazing! What a treat to get a new box of crayons and get coloring like crazy, creating something unique. These days, pretty much all of the kiddos’ artwork festooning my refrigerator owes something to crayons.
Happily, I don’t need to go back to being a kid in the early 1980’s to enjoy the calming creativity of coloring anymore. In 2016, it is chic to color in coloring books as a grown person. Adult coloring books of every type are flooding bookstores and online sites like Amazon. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. Really? Grown women coloring? But then I experienced anew the old familiar Color Rush.
Last summer, while on a family vacation to Vermont, my sister produced several coloring books, colored pencils and crayons during a quiet time hanging out in our apartment. Adult and child alike, we were mesmerized and soothed as we colored mandalas, animal pictures and floral prints. It was actually lots of fun. Everyone was coloring, enjoying the creative process and comparing our masterpieces. I have found that the 21st Century crayons called Twistables by Crayola are pretty cool. They don’t break like crayons of old, simply twisting up when you wear down the tip.
The other thing I realized about this new wave of the Coloring Craze is that tweens can benefit from these adult coloring books. My 10-year-old is unlikely to want to color the Sesame Street gang anymore, but she likes the animal and floral coloring pages and happily works on them during the summer or when we are on a family vacation. Parenting win! Any little relief from summer boredom-induced whining is welcome in my world.
After that trip to Vermont, I purchased a couple of books (links below) for myself and my 10-year old. I also bought one for my nearly 40-year-old sister. I went to a coloring party with some friends last week and we had THE BEST TIME. The gracious hostess laid out the most delicious nachos and drinks and we colored, laughed and chatted well into the evening like kids. What a blast, just connecting with other moms while doing something different. No particularly crafty skill was required and everyone went away with something pretty at the end of the night.
Another way to enjoy the artistic side of adulthood is Bible Journaling. A friend of mine showed me a really lovely bible she purchased that you can doodle, color and draw in as part of your quiet devotional time. I plan on purchasing it also. It is called the Inspire Bible. This way, your artwork is preserved in a place where you can see and enjoy it regularly.
My personal picks for rediscovering the joy of coloring are posted are linked throughout this article. They’re affordable and provide a welcome alternative to scrolling through political posts on social media or watching the same television programs over and over. I hope you consider giving coloring a try again – it’s a really flexible activity you can enjoy with your kiddos or some friends. Just add snacks and drinks and you have an instant party!