Sometimes my kid gets in trouble for not coloring in his homework. His Kindergarten teacher will circle his homework in all of its lonely black and white glory and scribble across the top: "must color."
Doesn't that go against everything that coloring stands for? Coloring is supposed to be fun, with the added bonus of working those damn fine motor skills. The kid just doesn't like coloring, and I'm totally okay with that. Instead of making a big deal with the boy, I started doing the coloring for him.
Honestly, I wasn't trying to keep him out of trouble. I'm all about kids being held accountable for their actions. It's just that I kinda like, no love, coloring in the lines and sometimes out of them. I'm so badass that way.
In Creative Activities for Young Children, educator Mary Mayesky is not a fan of coloring pages for school aged kids. She writes, "Coloring in coloring books can be relaxing because children are not required to think to complete the work. In school, do we want children not to think? Activities such as these often reduce children's ability to think for themselves and result in dependence on the teacher at a time when children should be learning independence."
You may be thinking: who is Mary Mayesky anyway? And why should I listen to her? I'll tell you why. Because she wrote a book and that book, a paperback no less, sells on Amazon for one hundred and fifty three dollars AND THIRTY THREE CENTS. Plus, it's on its tenth edition. Yes, that's why.
I hear you, Ms. Mary. I really do. That's why I'm taking it upon myself to break down the system and take it to the man. If I do my son's coloring pages, I'm providing myself with some well earned relaxation time while forcing my child to find something more productive to do with his time. It's a win-win. Straight up.
Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz and my pal, Oprah, have all stressed the importance of mindful meditation. Tons of people can't quiet their brains for long enough to really relax from within. I hear people complain that they just have too much going on to be still. Grocery lists running through the mind, anyone?
I have the perfect solution. Start coloring! Just like Ms. Mary said, "dittos and coloring books are adult-generated images designed to occupy children's time." I would just change one thing. I'm going to argue that I'm totally down with coloring books occupying MY time. Nothing is more relaxing than a little Crayola therapy. Everyone is happy? Am I right? The coolest part is that you will be able to reach nirvana quicker. See, you're fooling your brain into thinking that it's busy and BOOM -- mindfulness sets in. And if you've never experienced it, let me stress one thing: It's freakin' awesome.
And lest you think that coloring books haven't evolved over the years, I would like to point out that they most certainly have. In order to bolster my case, I present you with the strangest coloring books you've never seen. I'd like to thank the good folks at reddit for never failing to disappoint. NEVER.
Okay, aside from the strange misspelled title "Pikchurs," which bugs me to know end, this seems innocuous right? I mean, don't get me wrong, the characters are pretty cheesy and the story is nonexistent, but harmless nonetheless. Err. Keep reading. Seriously, you'll want to. Marijuana and making out are both topics of interest.
Next up we have dinosaurs on drugs. Yes, this is a thing. In order to prevent drug use, children are learning what not to do with their friends. What's a dinosaur called that smokes cigarettes. Give up? A nicotineadon. Brilliant. Color away, kids!
3. Mermaid Love
I'm all for equal rights for all. I also think that we should be able to love and marry whomever we choose. So, I'm proud of this forward thinking coloring book. I never took mermaids for lesbians, though.
As it turns out, leaving a coloring book unsupervised can be a very bad, bad thing. But, a crazy funny lesson to keep your eye on your things…or else.
Sadly, religious fundamentalists have taken to freaking out children with coloring books. Talk about taking the crazy to the womb! Um…this picture completely speaks for itself. No, really.
What's the craziest coloring book you've ever seen? Where can I get myself a copy?
So, color away. If your kids don't want to, don't force em. Just send the pages my way. I would be happy to help out. It's the least that I can do.