Well, apparently they were back then and still are today for people of all ages. People are making the adult coloring books bestsellers on Amazon! At the time of this writing, eight of the top twenty books on the bestsellers list, are coloring books for adults. There must be something behind this recent growth in interest.
When I was a child I just loved to draw and paint but, as I remember, before I even could begin to draw accurately I used to color in. The next stage was to learn to draw using stencils and then I graduated to be able to draw freehand which provided me with an absolutely fantastic sense of achievement. I went on to love drawing but the point I am trying to make is that it all started with the simple yet effective art of coloring in!