Last week in the library I casually left on a table a box of felt pens and pictures to be coloured in. Beautiful pictures of wild animals and birds. Exotic plants with reptiles peering from beneath the foliage.
People – lots of them – told me that teenage boys would not colour in. That it is uncool, too babyish, a waste of their time. They were wrong.
In a ten week term with lots and lots of internal assessments, my colouring books appeared at just the right moment. The uptake was immediate. They sit in groups and colour in at lunch time. They chat and colour in. They contemplate quietly and colour in. What is more – they return to the picture over several days in order to complete the colouring in.
Well the latest catch word for it is mindfulness.
Mindfulness means paying attention to what is presently
occurring, with kindness and curiosity.www.mentalhealth.org.nz/home/our-work/category/21/mindfulness
I am not sure whether this latest trend in colouring actually achieves this state of bliss. However, from my observations over the last week, it does allow busy boys to switch off for a little while. It stops them staring at a device. It stops them continuing to work through their lunch break. And it has promoted ‘chatting’.
So I shall keep it a while longer and see what other positive benefits it produces.
Lisa Trundley- Banks