The Calming Power of Coloring

Shelly JohnsonArt for Life, Home Learning Resources, Mindfulness & MovementLeave a Comment

Mary's mandala

Martha's gamesI love games…board games, card games, all kinds of games.

I love puzzles…crossword puzzles, sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzles.

Back in the day I even loved video games (Tetris queen here 💁‍♀️). What’s your favorite game?

Martha's crayonsBut. If there’s one thing I love more than games, it’s coloring. Coloring calms my mind and body. If you know me at all, you know that is not an easy task.

One of my earliest memories of coloring was a Precious Moments coloring book and new box of crayons I got at our local Ben Franklin. As a teenager, I constantly colored and doodled with an ink pen on my brown-paper-bag textbook covers.

Think you can still fold a paper bag book cover? Better yet, teach your kids to do it. Then post a photo in our comments section!

Now that I’m a grownup, I love coloring mandalas, especially with fine tip markers. There’s something extra calming about the repeating patterns of the mandalas.

Teens working on mandalasThat’s not really a surprise–it’s what they’re meant to do. If you’re looking for ways to keep your cool during the C-19 pandemic, print this mandala and make it your own. Once you’ve experienced its effects first-hand, you’ll think of all kinds of ways you can share it.

We used it with a high school youth group that was studying issues around mental health. We enlarged it, cut it up, and gave each student a small section to color. Group mandala

Then we put it together to make one big mandala. The result was beautiful!


We used mandalas to help a corporate team celebrate innovation. Most recently, we offered this same mandala pattern to high school student council advisors to color during our session on mindfulness and movement. Several advisors wanted mandalas to take back to their schools for their stressed-out students and colleagues to color themselves calm.

If you need to calm your mind and/or your body, try this mandala. We hope it helps. And…we’d love to see your finished product – please share your photo in the comments section.

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