During and after a traumatic experience, our brains may be “hijacked” by fear, anxiety, or anger. Doing a nonverbal activity such as coloring or a jigsaw puzzle together can help us reconnect and get “unstuck.” 

This coloring page can help adults communicate important ideas to children 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. 

Children can use crayons or markers. Colored pencils or thin-tipped markers work well for the detailed “adult” areas, but crayons will work too! Here are some other tips: 

  • Sit side by side in a quiet space with a surface. 
  • Have children color the large image while you color the background. 
  • There’s no right or wrong way to color; the goal is to sit and relax together. 
  • If you like, use the conversation starters at the bottom. 
  • Children can use the back of the page to continue drawing. 
  • If possible, display the completed page.