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Coloring Outside the Lines

Lately I’ve been obsessed with coloring books. There’s something about the smells of crayons that makes my brain mega happy. *sniff* Ahhhhh. Growing up, there was an almost permanent spot in our back room devoted to coloring. Tupperware containers overflowed with all the Crayola products you could ever imagine. Coloring books were plentiful. I would color for hours and hours and hours…

Does the average child consider coloring as a possible activity? Do they? I really don’t know. What if coloring books die out? You can scoff all you want, but think about it. Coloring encourages the use of motor skills and creativity. Without it, all the refrigerators of the world will be bare. We’ll have an EPIDEMIC of naked fridges on our hands, people.

Coloring books provide a set “drawing” for the artist to fill in. This involves planning out which colors look best in certain locations (unless you go with the toddler approach and scribble on every page in the book with the same crayon and all of your siblings hate you for the rest of your natural life). It was nice for me to have something to work with already so I didn’t have to deal with the nerve-wracking pressure of producing a Mona Lisa quality piece of refrigerator art. That’s the magic of coloring books! It’s like you’re a master cartoonist who can draw anything in the world, from Barbies to dinosaurs, in the blink of an eye (or the turn of a page). But really, you take someone else’s creation and make it your own. Who says elephants HAVE to be grey? Make it purple; nobody is going to stop you. And Cinderella? Go ahead and give her Joker make up. Because, why not??

Coloring books mean freedom of expression without borders. Because not everyone is Picasso.

The selection of coloring books readily available is dwindling. Crayola is obviously the mighty Kong of the children’s craft universe. So most likely your options are, “Jungle Animals” “Monster Trucks” “Princesses” and “Dinosaurs” all cleverly named by the classic coloring company. I’m sorry, but if I have to leaf through another coloring book full of the same puppy in 86 different poses, I will blow a microchip. Coloring book subjects are so predictable I could puke. How many trucks can one kid color before he starts to snap his crayons in anger? Maybe kids are losing interest in coloring because they have a right to do so.

Toy store proposal: quirky coloring books.

Let’s have a variety available! Not EVERY coloring book is princess themed, believe it or not. While browsing Amazon earlier today, I found several non conventional books… The best one was called “Fat Ladies in Space” and no it’s not offensive to overweight women. It’s a body POSITIVE coloring book. And the title is hilarious/interesting. Another was “Unicorns are Jerks” and it features different examples of the unicorns (yep, you guessed it) being jerkburgers. It discourages poor etiquette and, once again, it’s a hoot.

Cool coloring books are a cool idea for cool kids who like being cool. And I’m cool with that.

P.S. Have a very Merry Christmas! 🙂

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