Coloring Pages

One of the most fantastic things about being an art therapist for Tracy’s Kids is seeing the endless number of ways kids express themselves through art materials.  We are surprised on a daily basis – paper towel tubes become flamingos and model magic turn into a glittery galaxy.  With all of the wonderful and enticing art supplies we are so lucky to have, it is very easy to overlook an unsung hero in the art room – coloring pages!

There is so much to be said for a couple of coloring pages and a box of crayons.  Printing images of a new patient’s favorite superhero or animal offer us a great way to begin developing a therapeutic relationship.  Having ready a patient’s favorite pictures following a difficult blood draw can facilitate a transition from tears to coping through coloring.  We can quickly offer a child a comforting and familiar image to make the hospital less of a scary place.  

Being presented with an image can be a lot less intimidating than facing a blank piece of paper.  Coloring within lines (when developmentally appropriate) can be a calming and containing experience when coping with anxiety or pain.  Parents and family members of patients often request mandalas (circle drawings) as a therapeutic way to pass time and gain a sense of calm.  Even we (the art therapists and other staff members) sometimes find ourselves coloring as a great way to regroup after a very busy day.  We’ve found that you are never too old to enjoy coloring!

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