April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Duck Ponderings: Kids' zones, but adults too

I have never considered myself artistic but wonder what I would think if having any art classes before my first one in college while majoring in elementary education. Fortunately, the professor was understanding and based my final grade more on effort than ability.

Now, I do have some ability in bringing black and white outlined pictures and/or designs to life with color. Evidently, I could join an adult coloring club! Such clubs have become big business for companies selling adult coloring books as well as pencils.

When working with fifth graders, I would point out the importance of being colorful, creative, and different, that each provided a sense of individuality and just might help with a career later in life. A friend of mine once held up a sheet of white paper and emphasized how he wanted it to be completely colored by the end of his life.

I read an article by Hillari Dowdle on how coloring has helped her as an adult. She opens with the following words: "It's 8 p.m., and I'm in the zone. I've been here for an hour now. The world and its cares have dropped away. Work stress, money worries, health concerns and arguments with my 9-year-old son have all faded. That nattering voice in my head that usually gets busy nagging, judging and replaying the slights and hurts of the day has been silenced."

Doug Showalter, long-time writer for The Republic, stated in an article, "It's the latest craze among stressed-out adults."

Who has stress? We all do! When attending an education seminar years ago, the speaker identified over 100 more stress points in the lives of young people today compared to the fifties. He didn't talk about adults; however, we know!

So, why are there some who question the benefits of coloring in school, even in early elementary grades? I suspect these are the same people who think we should do away with art, music, recess, or discovery centers in kindergarten. Besides helping with stress, there is much research on the other benefits for all of these areas. It is just a matter of searching the internet if you can pull yourself away from coloring that intricate design in a best-seller book you ordered from an online company or picked up at a local retail store.

While waiting for a dealership to fix the creaks and squeaks of our brand new vehicle that were stressing me out, I walked into a Kids' Zone. On the wall, there were all kinds of wonderfully colored pictures. The computer game system was down. Oh, no! But, there were young children coloring while sitting by parents and/or grandparents. They were smiling, helping each other, and talking, yes talking to one another.

I started thinking how the dealership's sign should be changed to KIDS' ZONE-ADULTS TOO: Coloring Books for All.

If you need to get away from the house to color, David Miller, Hope Library Supervisor, assures me that he can always find a perfect spot for you with a special picture or design and coloring instruments of your choice. He will also proudly display your finished art work. And, if you need some fresh air outside, then he can provide an assortment of sidewalk chalk![[In-content Ad]]