How to find cool coloring books
For both adult and children alike, coloring can be a fun and engaging activity. Kids will take from it what they always have, namely improved abilities, while adults and teens benefit more on the emotional side of things since coloring can be very therapeutic.
Not just that, but seeing all the cool coloring books they’ve got for sale out there will make you want to pick up the pencil set and start coloring for the sheer aesthetic pleasure of it! With minute details and precise indication that a child wouldn’t really be able to follow, coloring books have come a long way in the past decades, and the results can sometimes be stunning.
There are a lot of beautifully colored creations to be found on the web, and really nothing we can say could prove a better recommendation for picking up this hobby if you haven’t already.
How we choose coloring books for kids, teens and adults
There are still, of course, loads of cool coloring books for toddlers and children, of various levels of difficulty, to carry your little one from his first attempts at smearing with a wax crayon all the way to mixing and matching a full set of colors like a budding artist.
What are some things to consider when shopping for a coloring book?
Books for toddlers
According to experts, coloring is great for improving your toddler’s fine motor skills, since it involves gripping and precise motion. It also stimulates creativity, improves focus, contributes to better handwriting later on, and helps them understand boundaries. The last one’s particularly important for children of 2-4 years of age. As any psychologist from Jean Piaget to your school counselor can tell you, this is the age where they start to understand that the world has rules to follow. So get your toddlers coloring!
Any parent can pretty much tell at a glance which are the best coloring books for toddlers. Those with simple, schematic cutely drawn figures, clear contours and plenty of space to fill. Don’t bother looking at books that feature cartoon characters, since children younger than 3 or 4 won’t care for them anyway. However, a book with representations of everyday household items might help the little one get a feel for abstractions.
Books for kindergarten and primary school kids
These are the years when your kid learns how to read and write, so it’s pretty important for them to practice coloring more minute, fine details to get those “finger” muscles working. This is also the time when he or she starts recognizing and caring about cartoon and comic book characters. It’s just as well since those are drawn in a style that fits a primary schooler’s coloring abilities fairly well.
He will also start caring about the quality of his creations at about 5 or 6, so don’t disappoint him by providing a coloring book more fit to toddlers or frustrate him with something too complex.
If you want to help your kid find certain special interests, there are a lot of options to chose from out there — with books featuring accurate depictions of real-life aircraft, boats, animals, dinosaurs, etc. There’s no need to patronize an older kid with cartoony stuff.
Books for teens and tweens
High school can be a tough time, so this is where the therapeutic effect of coloring really starts to matter. According to the some blogs, coloring might prove helpful for teens who suffer from depression, anxiety, emotional trauma, learning disabilities or stress. It’s also a great mean of expression, which makes it very popular with artsy teens.
Due to the popularity this hobby enjoys, there are literally thousands of cool coloring pages for teens and tweens, enough to fill whole sections of libraries and get you confused, lost in all the possibilities offered by their intricate patterns.
They are really pretty to look at, and you get everything from precise, realistic contours to fill in at your leisure to fantasist designs apparently driven by a horror of vacuum. These force you to fill every nook and cranny with a flat layer of color, while the airy ones allow for different shading and highlights to be used (and sometimes come with special instructions to this effect.) Needless to say, adults will find them equally enticing.
Books for adults
Until recently, the only place where most of us could see adults using a coloring book was a particularly absurdist scene from the 1990s comedy Air America. However, the screenwriters seemed to have been onto something when they had two cargo pilots start coloring as their rookie colleague was flying them through a storm.
It seems that coloring contributes greatly to reducing anxiety, it increases focus and brings about a state of “mindfulness,” as Marygrace Berberian, Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of the Graduate Art Therapy Program at NYU declares on the CNN website.
According to the same source, coloring offers some unique benefits that other forms of art therapy can’t provide. This comes from the fact that it forces you to work within ready set boundaries. This loss of creative freedom brings, however, a state of greater stability and security to the person. It seems people don’t get the feelings of doubt associated with starting a new project from coloring.
It does, however, keep a large part of your brain occupied, leaving little space for persistent thoughts about day to day matters that tend to build up into anxiety. Since this is dependent on the activity being absorbing, coloring patterns that demand a lot of precision and give a lot of details to focus on tend to work best.
Mandalas, which are some very intricate concentric geometric shapes, traditional to the Hindu religion, have been successively used in a coloring therapy experiment back in 2005, so they are proved to work. Mandala patterns aren’t available just to researchers, of course, they are the subject of some of the most popular coloring books out there since they make for some really cool coloring pages for adults.