Today I am kicking off a new series of blog posts, reviewing musical products, with this colouring book that, according to the Amazon description for it, is aimed at adults to help them with relaxation and stress relief. Apparently this is a great present for a music lover. (I may be giving away a little of what I think about this book there…)
Colouring books for adults have been big business for some time now. I was never that interested in colouring until my children came along, but have quite enjoyed colouring in with them in the last few years. Colouring is a great activity for mindfulness, thinking about the colours you are choosing, thinking about the patterns you want to create in the picture, or bring out of the picture. It is an activity you can just do without having to think about anything else. I do find it really quite relaxing, and I like seeing the results at the end.
Like all children, my two have gone through phases where they really enjoy colouring, and my daughter, who is 4, is really into colouring books at the moment. It is one of the activities she can do for a good stretch, along with stickers and play dough, as usually she just bounces around from one activity to another. My son generally prefers drawing a picture to colouring it in, or colouring anything pre-drawn in.
When we do our colouring together my daughter likes for us to colour the same picture. I have to somehow guess which colour she wants to use and then she gets me to colour one area of the picture while she colours another area. Over lockdown I was listening to some parenting podcasts, and one of them was talking about colouring with their children, inspired by Romesh Ranganathan, as a non-screen based activity for the whole family. The idea was that Romesh Ranganathan and his wife had got out colouring books and started colouring, and their children had come along to see what they were doing, and decided to get their own colouring books out. They were all colouring together.
I thought that sounded nice and wanted to try it with my children, so got hold of a colouring book for adults. I specifically choose one on Amazon that said it was a colouring book for adults, as the idea was that I would just get this book out and start colouring, maybe having a colouring book available for the children nearby to see if I could get them to come along and join me. This is not a blog post about this idea of mine, largely because I would have to admit that my children completely ignored me and I was basically just sat colouring on my own – I tried it a couple of times, and absolutely nothing…! Oh.
The very first thing I noticed about the book, was this front page, which I thought was rather odd for an adult colouring book, a child’s one yes, no problem, but for an adult?
So many of the pictures in the book were OK for an adult. They are music themed, and have some quite intricate designs, which I think is what most adult colouring books contain. They were perhaps a little simplistic, but OK. Like these:
There were a couple of other pictures that I was not sure were quite aimed at adults, maybe more for a young teenage audience. Unfortunately there were more of these sorts of pictures in the books than the above:
And then I saw this picture. I mean, I would not be surprised to find this in my 4 year old’s colouring book!
I had bought the book, and wanted to try this experiment to see if I could just interest the children in joining me colouring without explicitly suggesting it, and so I chose a couple of pictures.
I’ll be honest, I got bored with this picture, and this is as far as I got before giving up. I have tried colouring mandalas before, and while they are also very repetitive, there are at least plenty of different shapes, and nice patterns that you can create depending on how you colour the picture in. So I tried a different picture.
Again, this one was OK, but I still felt it was a little childish in subject matter.
I do not think this is a colouring book for adults in the least. Maybe if your child is at the end of junior school, or the very start of secondary school at a push, they might enjoy this colouring book, but much beyond about 12 I think they would feel like this book is far too young for them.
I bought the book from Amazon for £5.99, link here if you are looking for a colouring book for a slightly older child. But I would not buy it for yourself. There must be better music-themed colouring books aimed at adults out there.