One thing I’ve learned in my decade of running youth programs is that kids (and staff!) love to color. Sometime back in my first year working with Kidsco, Inc. down in Gaithersburg, Maryland, I started making my own coloring sheets in response to the repetitive Disney ones that we kept using. I wanted them to reflect the culture of our program and what was going on in our world. My style kind of developed on its own, and the elementary school kids became obsessed with them. Eventually I had a bunch of original coloring sheets running through all the schools Kidsco had programs in.
When I began last September as the Cultural Arts Director at the Boys and Girls Club up in Mt. Kisco, I resurrected some of my old coloring sheets and gave them a new life. In the process, I made a bunch of new ones too that focused on the interests of our club kids. Everyone embraced them heavily. Even the older kids in middle and high school love them. It gives them a chance to design their own color schemes and patterns for sneakers, sports uniforms, Ipods, etc. They are fun to color, especially when kids are looking for a relaxing activity to do while they sit, talk with their friends, and listen to music. I do weekly contests for sneaker and Ipod of the week, the winners of which I will start posting soon (stay tuned!). They really come alive when they are all colored in. For now, check out my 2007-2008 school year collection raw and uncolored, which I recently compiled into a book: