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Under the Sea Colouring

Under the Sea Colouring

Activity of the Week (August 15-20): Under the Sea Colouring Group

About: This week is UNDER THE SEA Week. We are celebrating all the amazing creatures found under the deep blue sea. Our clients will enjoy varied activities this week including this colouring group. You may think colouring is a childish pursuit, but read below for some interesting facts on the benefits of colour for adults.

How to set up:

  • Print adult colouring pages onto heavy stock paper (Our staff photocopy adult colour books or print pictures from websites such as activityconnection.com); find images of tropical fish, whales, dolphins, or other theme related images
  • Set out pencil crayons, watercolour pencils or markers
  • Have clients choose their picture and type of colours
  • Soft background music can help clients relax while colouring

Art Therapy for the Elderly

Research into the effects of coloring activities for people living with dementia show positive outcomes, most notably a decrease in agitation and anxiety.

The therapeutic value of coloring comes in part from a participant’s need to concentrate and in doing so they may ‘forget’ their troubles whilst in the midst of a coloring activity. Relaxation and meditative moods often follow.

The Benefits of Coloring for Seniors

  • Improves moods
  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces agitation
  • Promotes socialization and reminiscing
  • Provides an outlet for self-expression
  • Helps to maintain motor function
  • Improves dexterity (grip control)
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Encourages cooperation
  • Promotes mindfulness (full attention & concentration required)
  • Provides a sense of accomplishment
  • Materials to Use - quality matters

Planning a Coloring Session

If you plan to introduce some clients to coloring, there are a few things to remember:

  • The tools are important. Adults may find crayons demeaning and decline to participate. Markers (felt tip pens) are not suitable for seniors; they bleed and go through the paper to stain whatever is underneath and they are also hard to control for people with deficits in dexterity
  • Do not give participants recycled paper or office A4 paper (it is thought to be demeaning). Print or photocopy the colouring pages on drawing paper from an art store. They will have paper of different thickness and textures available making the end product more exciting. Or you may transfer the print of choice onto an art canvas with carbon copy paper.
  • Encourage and praise participants. Coloring is a form of self-expression; there is no ‘right’ way to color. Each color chosen has a meaning (even if participants cannot put it in words) that subtly affects the body, mind and emotions of participants.

For more information on Colouring for the older adult population visit: http://www.goldencarers.com/the-benefits-of-coloring-in-for-the-elderly/4244/

Seniors Life Enhancement Centres is a non-profit adult day program located in Oakville, serving Mississauga and Halton Regions. For more information on our services visit: www.slec.ca 

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