Stressed? Get the colouring pencils out...

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The latest colouring in craze is no surprise to Coleraine teachers who have long appreciated its importance, according to a local educationalist.

Jacquie Reid from the town, Deputy General Secretary with the Ulster Teachers’ Union and former teacher at Millburn Primary, said that although it is regarded as a fun activity for children, and now adults, it is valued by both age groups for the same reason – its ability to soothe a stressed mind.

“Sometimes if children tell parents they’ve been colouring in school that day, parents may feel it hasn’t been time well-spent. However, colouring is a crucial activity in laying the foundation for many vital skills in a child’s development,” she said.

“It helps teach children colour recognition as well as how to grip and control something in their hand. However, what many adults are now discovering is that one of the most important things they loved about colouring in is as valuable now as it was then – its ability to help them focus and de-stress as a form of therapy.

“For children and adults colouring is therapeutic. Colouring can be a way to de-stress, after a busy morning of school work, wind down and calm down, after the stresses of a day at school. But of course what a growing number of those children’s parents are discovering is that what works for their children works for them too and you can’t beat a few minutes’ colouring in after a tough day at the office!”