The Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library’s Get Crafty program is geared toward teens and adults and almost always features seasonal crafts of some sort.
No experience is ever necessary as reference librarian Christina Link, who leads the program, is on hand to guide participants through the steps, and all materials are provided.
However, the program took a bit of a delay on Tuesday evening, as there were no traditional crafts on offer. Instead, Link provided attendees with Chinese New Year-themed coloring sheets and supplies.
As Chinese New Year fell on the evening of Get Crafty, Link thought the activity was timely.
“Turns out he fell on (the program’s) day,” Link said, explaining that it was a good activity to de-stress.
Although coloring for adults may seem a bit simple, science says that this activity has many benefits. First, activity is one that uses both sides of the brain. The organization, concentration, and problem solving involved use the left hemisphere, while the color choices and creativity involved use the right hemisphere.
Coloring improves fine motor skills, focus and concentration. It can aid in the processing of emotions and promotes creativity. It has also been proven to promote relaxation and improve sleep.
The biggest benefit of adult coloring is that it has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. A 2005 scientific study showed that there was a marked improvement in subjects’ anxiety levels after just 20 minutes of coloring.
It is for these reasons that there are entire adult coloring clubs dedicated to the activity.
Harker Heights resident Kim Palumbo said she definitely noticed a difference. “I’m much more relaxed than I was,” she noted at the end of the show, after coloring in her Year of the Tiger picture for a good 45 minutes. And his son, Austin, had so much fun he finished one picture and started another. The two took their pictures home to finish later.
Get Crafty takes place the first Tuesday of every month starting at 6 p.m. at the library.