Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Zen of Coloring

There's a NEW! feature in our Library Media Center Makerspace area!
It's Coloring!
I have to admit when I first heard about how coloring books for adults and teens are all the rage, I was a bit skeptical. Then I saw the beautiful new coloring books with loopy, fabulous, mesmerizing line drawings and I was sold! I also just really like the smell of a new box of Crayons! Like PlayDoh, they smell happy. Don't judge me.

I then did some research on the Zen of Coloring and found out that teens find coloring very relaxing, meditative, and stress relieving - perfect for middle school! I also think in this world of multi-tasking, coloring keeps our hands busy and let's our mind wander free- it's also related to another hot topic mindfulness. I know that when I'm in a group setting without technology, say a staff-meeting, a conference, or a lecture, I find myself doodling and making line drawings. Always have - do you?

What to Buy
So, I got permission from my principal and bought a variety of coloring books from Amazon, a huge box of Crayons, and a passel of colored pencils. I tried to get a good mix of coloring books - for boys, girls, grownups, and also appealing to the rich multi-cultural tapestry and different interests that make up our student body.

Star Wars, Minecraft, Dragons, Ocean, Hispanic, Native American, & Celtic heritage, Indian Mehndi Henna designs, Color My Fro and Luv My Hair designs... a cornucopia of creative coloring books! See? Get suggestions from the kiddos, buy the coloring books that would appeal to them! Variety is important!
Here's my Amazon Coloring Book Shopping List Link

A video posted by Gwyneth Jones (@thedaringlibrarian) on

Nothing Fancy - I Even Upcycled
a CD-R Spindle Top for the Pencils!

Guidelines NOT Rules
Ok, sorta like rules. After a few weeks, I did find that we had to have some guidelines for the coloring corner -but  I don't like to call them rules!
Like claiming a page, sharing a page, giving us permission to Instagram or blog about the artwork & most important - not tearing out the pages. Because there are designs on the other side of the page and that would just wasteful and not fair to the other kiddos! 

Download the High Rez or poster version of this for your class or Makerspace. Click to see all sizes! All Creative Commons, Take, Use, Share!

I have some other stuff you can take, too!  Generously given by a cool blogger who specializes in creating engaging coloring pages and printables - Dawn Nicole.

Want some FREE Coloring Sheets to Download? We've got you covered!
From the website: Download Many Sizes Here:
As seen above - used with permission from the amazing DawnNicole
Get More! FREE Printable Bookmarks

Winter Bookmarks Coloring Page | by Dawn Nicole Designs

Don't believe coloring can be good for you?
Here's some of the cool research I found!

"There are plenty of studies on the effectiveness of art therapy in reducing stress, and coloring seems to offer some similar benefits, as William Brennan wrote in this magazine when he noted the coloring books’ particular popularity in France. And doodling is a way for people to organize their thoughts, and focus. Coloring offers that relief and mindfulness without the paralysis that a blank page can cause."  - Julie Beck of The Atlantic
Coloring has also been used to "gently ease veterans suffering from PTSD into art therapy. (5)"  One study on college students found that "coloring pre-drawn patterns significantly reduced signs of stress and depression. (6)"  Coloring before bedtime can even help you sleep!" (7)
"One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century" reports the Huffington Post.

2D Mandala Flickr CC Computer by RunnerFrog
"Mandalas are concentric circle drawings that originated in India and mean “sacred circles” in Sanskrit. (10)  Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, and Christian cathedrals all incorporate mandalas into their architecture." - By of BeBrainfit
Mandalas and similar circular or spiral designs are thousands of years old. Look around and notice how abundantly the circular pattern of the mandala appears in our environment. You can see this geometric shape in all aspects of life. The sun in the sky, the nucleus of the cells in the body, and the unique design of a snowflake.
Kids are loving the coloring! Boys, girls, and grown-ups!

Now it's YOUR turn! 
What do you think about coloring for teens and adults? Please share your thoughts in the comments! 

How Colouring Books Are Helping Adults Beat Stress



  1. This is great Gwyneth! I love it & as usual, you inspire me! I'm going to get this going next semester, as it's at the top of my to-do list! :) Thanks...#LibSis (Library Sister)!

    1. Hello sweet friend! Thank you so much for your comment & kind words! I'd love to see pics of your coloring station once you get it set up - pls share! Muuwaa! ~G

  2. It's true , it's true! Coloring is relaxing and fun. It is also a great way to get your brain in art making mode' and maybe any mode when you want to focus. Plus new box of crayons. I ...ahem...have even done a panda coloring book, and no snotty comments about only needing a black crayon and a white one are needed. Thanks for all the links to stories that discuss the benefits of coloring!

    1. Pandas are evil. Full stop. I did my research! They look so cute, pretty, & cuddly an that's just not how they are. :-P

      Srsly, thanks for your comment and happy coloring! ~G

  3. Coloring is so therapeutic and relaxing. But I especially love to color the augmented reality coloring pages! Makes it so much fun!

    1. Hi Patty! Thanks for your comment - I'd LOVE to see your Augmented reality coloring! Tweet me pics if you can! Cheers!

  4. Thank you for the ideas and resources and even better, backed up with research!!

  5. There's a mistake in your guidelines under No Tearing Out Pages - "they below to us all" should be belong. Otherwise I love it!

    1. Oh thank you! Gosh darn proofreading is gonna kill me! I'll fix it and re-post it. Doh, how come no one told me sooner! LOL But super thanks to you for doing so - if you ever see any other typos, feel free to let me know - that's a weak spot for sure!



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