by Katelyn Fagan on March 1, 2016

I love art. I grew up drawing and coloring. I won contests and scholarships through grade school, high school, and college where I majored in Visual Arts. It's no surprise that with my children I encourage them to express themselves artistically. I am curious to discover if my kids have any natural talent in art too.

With my twins it was apparent very early on that my daughter Lisa had very good fine motor skills as she wielded a pencil early and well. With that came adorable first drawings to the very detailed drawings of people and animals today. The girl can draw.

My daughter Alison was not refined in using her hands until the last couple of years. When it is time to paint that girl focuses and is very intentional about her marks and her colors, as opposed to her twin who whipped up paintings splash and dash style, just trying to get it done.

Over Christmas break we spent some time with my brother Tyler in Alabama. He's an Air Force Officer, but also an artist. He taught me most of what I know about art as a kid, engaging me in coloring and drawing contests.

He has been working on some adult coloring book pages (to eventually turn into a book for sale) and printed off a few pages for his kids and mine to color, as well as for my husband and I. (He has a free kids coloring book for free HERE if interested).

We had a great time coloring his pictures as a family and decided to pick up some coloring books (this one and this one) and colored pencils (of my favorite brand that I have used for years) and do some coloring together, taking turns coloring different elements on the same page. We spent a few of our Friday night date nights at home coloring after the kids went to bed. It was somewhat like our painting date we did a few years ago, only this time with colored pencils.

We explained to our daughters that our coloring books weren't for them, nor were the pencils. They were for mom and dad. As we were talking about them and discussing how we take our time to color in the lines and make them look really good, our daughter Alison exclaimed "I've never colored in the lines before."

Apparently, coloring in the lines is something she never thought important before this conversation! She never knew that's what you should do. (Note: I don't actually think you need to conform and stay in the lines, or use the "right" colors to be an artist. Personally, I think too many restrictions can narrow your creativity.)

We told both our girls that if they took their time coloring and staying in the lines in their own coloring books, that we would let them color a page (that was simpler) from our new coloring books. We bought them new colored pencils too and a electric pencil sharpener and away they went.

Alison blew us away. She went from scribbling and what always seemed like a general lack of true interest in coloring, to spending very focused energy and considerable time coloring in the lines and did a tremendous job. We readily agreed that she earned a page from our coloring book.

I like to tease that Lisa can still draw better than Alison, but Alison can color better than Lisa now. Both do a great job, but clearly have different abilities and interest.

It has been a ton of fun the last several weeks spending time coloring together at our table as a family, talking and discussing as we work. Seeing my children animated about their successes, their unique color choices, and their new found ability to color inside the lines and create truly remarkable pieces (for five year olds) is unifying for our family.

We are all about family togetherness and quality time and this new adult coloring book craze has been a big hit in our home.... even if we all get a bit tired of coloring the same image after so many hours already working on it. And even if we giggle and joke a little bit about the trend being called "adult" coloring books.

We are hanging their best work on the walls (again) and encouraging them to keep at it. It's always great to have some color in your life, which is why we enjoy drinking Tampico too.

For more articles by Katelyn visit her blog