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Unleash children's creativity with cool coloring books
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Unleash children's creativity with cool coloring books

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The best coloring book for kids

While coloring is a wonderful solitary activity, parents may benefit from joining their child. Kids can receive positive reinforcement, and parents enjoy a calming, soothing activity.

Coloring is a beloved pastime that starts when you’re a toddler, develops through adolescence, and may even be maintained in adulthood. It’s an outlet for creativity, offering a chance to develop important skills in youngsters and keep older kids entertained without the use of screens.

The right coloring book for a child fosters exploration into art and expression, but the wrong one can discourage such a venture. Our buying guide takes a look at all the options when it comes to coloring books for kids — including our top pick, the Little Bee Books My First Big Book of Coloring — and narrows down how to find one for the child in your life.

Considerations when choosing coloring books for kids

Paper quality

Quality matters when it comes to paper: a lesser material may be flimsy and tear easily or allow colors to bleed through or smudge. Look for thick, durable paper that allows not just crayons, but colored pencils, markers, and even watercolors to be used effectively. Quality paper also helps maintain the book’s durability over frequent usage.

Coloring areas

Note the size of the coloring area and what kind of precision or detail is required. Younger children may require larger areas, while older, more careful kids may prefer something detailed and challenging. Match up the skill and interest level of your child to the coloring areas.

Similarly, the level of detail and intricacy in a drawing may entice some kids and turn off others.  Designs with thicker, broader strokes are likely better suited for the youngest of kids.

Theme

The theme of the coloring book — whether it comes from a favorite piece of pop culture like a movie, or features beloved depictions of science and nature — is essential to attracting kids to the coloring book. There are a wide range of options available, so take time to find one that matches their interests. Disney princesses and dinosaurs are certainly among the more popular choices.

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Features

Page size

Most coloring book pages are the standard 8.5 x 11 inches. Others may be more compact to make for easy storage or travel, while oversized books are also made for those who want to spread out and create big, bold pictures.

Number of pages

For enthusiastic youngsters, there are options available with plenty of pages, though larger books aren’t necessarily a better bet. Look at the binding and determine how easy it is to hold open pages when coloring. What’s more, avoid those options that sacrifice page quality in the name of page quantity. Some larger books may feature perforated pages to allow you to remove them and color on a flat surface. These can also be hung or framed upon completion.

Educational elements

While coloring books allow kids a creative endeavor, some offer educational tools as well. Some books may tie in basic elements such as counting or identifying shapes and animals. For older kids, some books may tell stories with text involved. Similarly, games and puzzles may be incorporated into coloring books.

Price

Coloring books are relatively inexpensive, ranging between $5 for smaller options geared for younger kids up to around $15 for more detailed, lengthy books.

FAQ

Q. What are some ways coloring is beneficial to children?

A. Coloring can help teach a range of skills including focus, hand-eye coordination, and completing tasks from beginning to end. Coloring can develop fine motor skills that aid in writing and typing as well. Other positive benefits include creative expression and relaxation.

Q. When can a child start coloring?

A. For toddlers under 18 months, most coloring really just involves scribbling, but it’s a good start. Around three years old, children may begin effectively grasping and coloring, though it may take a year or two for color recognition.

Coloring books for kids we recommend

Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews, a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

8 book recommendations for kids of all ages

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