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Optical Illusion Adds New Dimension to Kids’ Coloring

The package of five morphed fairy drawings and a Morph-O-Scope for viewing the finished colored pages arrived while my six-year-old granddaughter was visiting. OOZ & OZ, which makes these unique coloring kits, was recommended by a friend. It was a perfect opportunity to test out these “magical” coloring pages. The 8×10-inch line drawings on the pages are stretched and warped like those old fun house mirrors and look like abstract designs.

I gave one to my granddaughter to color and after she’d finished, I pulled out the Mylar Morph-O-Scope with a flourish and set it on her colored page. The surprise was magical—the unidentifiable shape became a lovely drawing of a fairy hopping a ride on a dragonfly. “How did they do that,” asked my granddaughter. Without getting too technical, my husband explained to her about optical illusions.

OOZ & OZ, the company that creates these unique Morph-O-Scopes, was founded by Myrna Hoffman in 1989.  The idea is based on an ancient Chinese optical illusion amusement device, the “anamorphoscope,” that had fascinated her for decades. It uses curved mirrors to magically re-form specially morphed drawings into normal reflections—like a reverse fun house, where the person is warped, but his reflection appears right. What began as an unusual coloring activity for her daughter’s seventh birthday party, has become a full-scale business for Hoffman. There are a wide variety of coloring sheets and also suggestions for birthday party activities.

The different coloring packets are suggested for ages 5 to 14 and would be a great activity while waiting at restaurants or airports. It’s fun to watch the kids’ reactions as they hold the Morph-O-Scope up to their finished drawings.

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