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After trauma, when our brains can be “hijacked” by fear, anxiety, or anger, a wordless activity like coloring can help us get “unstuck.” Coloring can reduce stress in both adults and kids, and this adult-child coloring page lets you sit quietly with kids and just be together.

Coloring together can help you share important ideas without saying a word:

  • We can relax together.
  • We can have a good time together.
  • We can concentrate.
  • I am here with you.
  • I am listening.
  • I am interested in you.
  • We can share feelings.
  • We can make something beautiful, even when the world around us feels ugly.

Kids can use crayons or markers. Colored pencils or thin-tipped markers work well for the detailed “adult” areas, but crayons will work too!

  • Sit side by side in a quiet space with a surface. You might put on music that you both like.
  • Kids color Big Bird and his nest, grown-ups color the more detailed background.
  • Remember there’s no right or wrong way to color; the goal is to sit and relax together. It’s okay to sit without talking, too!
  • Praise your child’s efforts and display the completed page in your home.

Before, during, or after coloring, try saying:

  • “Big Bird feels cozy and safe in his nest. Where do you go to feel like that?”
  • “Would you like to have your very own nest? Why or why not?”
  • “If you had a nest, what would you do there? What would you want to keep with you there to feel calm and safe?”