“We are No Longer Allowed to Color at School”

~By Julie Chatfield, Children’s Ministry Director
Each week I have the privilege of teaching our 2nd-5th grade kiddos during our 9:30 a.m. worship service.  We have started a wonderful new curriculum full of activities that touch upon the various learning styles.  Last Sunday we were learning about Adam and how God tasked Adam to name the animals.  The first activity was a worksheet that encouraged kids to imagine and draw their own animal and then name it.  I gave the students a box of colored pencils and 5 minutes to create.  The kids worked furiously.  I noted how quiet they were, how peaceful the room felt, and recognized their joy in this activity.  When I announced time was up, all of the kids expressed sighs of disappointment.  At first I assumed it was the typical antic to continue coloring, but one of the 3rd grade students bluntly stated, “We are no longer allowed to color at school.”  I laughed,  thinking it was a joke, only to hear all the children then chime in to her remark.  The kids continued, “We aren’t even allowed to keep a box of crayons in our desk or color during free time.”
Perhaps the kids have a misunderstanding about the purpose behind this absurd rule.  Maybe being in third grade, they are encouraged to use their writing and verbal skills and therefore coloring is not permitted.  It makes sense for this purpose.  But whatever the reason or level of truth, it was their tone of despair that was most concerning.  Even the kids seems incredulous that coloring was no longer necessary, adding to their already existent dread for learning.  
According to an article in the Medical Daily,  aside from being a necessary learning tool, coloring helps relieve stress, maintain attention, refocus negative thinking and is a wonderful, therapeutic activity for all ages.  Whatever semblance of truth this pronouncement may be, I wonder.  In the end, is this no coloring rule and the kids negative perspective, along with the repercussions influenced by it, a sacrifice worth taking? 
Genesis 1:31-  God saw everything God made:  it was supremely good.  
Here kids use drama and clay, other tools for learning.