My kids love to color. We go through our share of computer paper, rolls of paper for the easel and construction paper. I love a plain sheet of paper and the endless opportunities for creativity but there’s something therapeutic about coloring in a coloring book. The bones are there and you’re only required to decorate. Coloring books are a staple in our home and some of my favorite gifts to give because they are consumable. Kids go through them rather quickly and they’re super easy to set aside and pull out when a new one is needed. They’re the gifts that keep on giving. 🙂 Below are our picks for four of the BEST coloring books!
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Best Books for Little Hands
My son loves to do everything his big sister does. He’s two. He has no problem coloring in her girly books but I hunted to find more masculine and developmentally appropriate options. Melissa and Doug Coloring Pads have simple illustrations that make it easy for little ones to practice coloring in the lines. The paper is oversized, thick and high quality so children are free to choose from multiple mediums, such as crayons, watercolors, markers and paints. The sheets are perforated and tear out easily making it easy for kids to share. We chose the Melissa and Doug Jumbo Vehicles Pad for our little guy. He loves using crayons and markers to color at the table next to his big sister. We can also tear out pages and attach them to the easel, giving him opportunities for gross motor painting.
Best for ALL Ages! (For Kids and Kids at Heart)
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford. Gasp. I found this one and wanted it for me! This book is simply gorgeous. The intricate details are perfect for my artistic child and, while I love coloring princesses from her giant coloring book, I am very excited about these beautiful illustrations. Secret Garden boasts many pages of artwork; some pages include prompts for you to complete the scene and the end of the book holds the key to the “treasures” that can be found within each picture. I suspect our next rainy day will consist of this book, our couch, colored pencils and my favorite four year old.
Best for Inspiring Creativity
We added Lately Lily Book of Fun: Doodle & Discover Your World! by Micah Player to our collection in time for our family vacation this summer. It’s a follow up to the children’s book Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling Girl. This doodle book stars the book’s main character Lily and gives prompts for drawing and decorating. The book can also double as a travel journal for your young child. I would recommend gifting this book to a girl aged 4-10.
Another fun option is: The Usborne Book of Drawing, Doodling and Coloring.
Best for No Mess
Crayola Color Wonder is AMAZING! It is the perfect no mess option for your budding artist. I am all about messy art. Our art sessions seldom end without body parts covered in chalk, paint, markers, etc. But sometimes there’s no time for a bath. Sometimes you’re in a car, or at Grandma’s or EXHAUSTED and instead of saying “no” to art time you can say “yes” to a more structured art experience. Color Wonder is a line of markers that appear to color clear. In fact they will not show up on walls, clothing, body parts, etc. They WILL show up on the line’s special paper as the markers react to it.
Pair one of these books with a new set of drawing tools and you’ll have a thoughtful gift for the little artist in your life.