Sunday, December 14, 2014

Coloring Books: Not Just Kids’ Play

By Jeff Burns

I don’t do it often enough  these days, but I do enjoy it, and I plan to get back in the habit.  What habit?  Coloring  I’m generally not very artistic, but I do find myself doodling in meetings, and I like coloring with pencils.  But coloring’s just for kids, right?  Not at all.  A recent article touts the benefits of coloring for adults. Coloring produces, according to the studies cited, wellness and reduces stress, while stimulating creativity, mental activity, fine motor skills and the senses.  Creating coloring books for adults is apparently a trend for publishers around the world.

One company that has been ahead of that curve is Dover Publications.   I’ve been aware of Dover’s great historical coloring books from my first days as a teacher.  Back in the olden days, before powerpoints and smartboards an color copiers and printers, I bought Dover’s coloring books and copied the pages to make overhead transparencies, bulletin boards, and activities.  (Even high school students love to color.)  And I often found myself coloring pages as well.

Dover produces great coloring books covering just about every history topic imaginable. The illustrations are accurate, detailed, and accompanied by informative and well-researched captions.  They’re inexpensive, too, so you’ll never run out of material to color.    The books are available in most bookstores and from the website. While at the website, Dover’s other offerings:  activity books, sticker books, paper dolls, model kits, etc. I’ve also used many of these formats in class in one way or another.

So do yourself a favor, improve your health, reduce stress, and learn some history at the same time! Buy some historical coloring books and colored pencils for yourself and your children and get started.

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