In the midst of the educational technology revolution, a long-loved practice still prevails in classrooms and homes today – coloring! But can students actually learn faith through coloring?
Coloring for Children
As we are all familiar, coloring for children helps with motor skills, color differentiation, shape recognition and is simply fun. It is easy to find coloring books or downloads on every subject or theme from animals, princesses, fairies, super heroes and more.
What if children could learn faith through coloring? Educators have long used alphabet coloring books, math coloring pages, and grammar coloring sheets to increase interaction with academic content through a friendly medium. But can coloring lead to a deepening understanding and appreciation of faith? Check out the Liturgical Calendar Coloring Book, the ABC Saints printable craft and the Catholic printables Facebook page. These (and many others) expose children and adults to aspects of faith while providing the physical, emotional and cognitive benefits of coloring.
Learning the Church Year through Coloring
The previous examples combine coloring with some aspect to learn faith through coloring. What a great way to become introduced to the faith! There is also a new coloring page on the Church Year that complements FeastDay! The Liturgical Year Board Game. The coloring page is actually the black line master of the gameboard! (see Image 1)
Coloring the Church Year is easy and there are many ways to go about it. You could explain that Christ the King Sunday is the week before the Church Year, which begins with Advent, and begin and to color Christ the King first. Next, simply introduce the seasons of the Church and have the children color the paths of each season while you explain the significance of the colors. (see image 2)
Finally, as you enter each season throughout the year return to the FeastDay! coloring page and explain the symbols, saints, and elements of the upcoming season and have the children color each item as you discuss it. Coloring while listening will actually help the students understand each item and details about it. This is a great way to learn faith. By the end of the year you will have completed coloring pages for each student. Now they have their very own poster or game board! (see image 3)
Adult Coloring for Learning and Therapy
For adults, coloring can be a tremendous source of creativity and relaxation. There are many professed scientifically proven benefits of coloring, from reducing stress to stimulating the senses. Coloring book guru Johanna Basford says “Some time spent with the simple task of adding color to the page and creating something beautiful really seems to appeal to people. There’s also the nostalgia factor. Chances are last time you spent an hour or so coloring in you didn’t have a mortgage and you weren’t worried about a nagging boss or the financial crisis! Coloring seems to help people think about a time when life was simpler and more carefree.”
Adults claim that coloring is a refreshing activity as it is basic and low-tech. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment performing a low risk, high value endeavor. Some adults participate in a coloring group and may use crayons, pastels, watercolors, gel pens, markers or simply colored pencils, depending on the desired outcome. It can help with insomnia, and helps with focusing too!
Interestingly, learning about faith and coloring can be a centering activity, too. Similar to teaching children, adults can focus on elements on a coloring page and gain a deeper appreciation of what is being taught while coloring the elements. Those who respond to this type of activity can explore coloring techniques and a variety of Catholic adult coloring books to learn faith through coloring!
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