After avoiding it for far too long to be fashionable, I decided to buy some adult coloring books. They arrived in the usual fashion – in an envelope on my doorstep. I’ll admit, even after spending money on them, I was skeptical.
I felt like I should be holding a lollipop and riding my daughter’s scooter. But what happened next was completely unexpected and surprisingly welcome.
Kids Love Them
I thought adult coloring books were too complicated for young artists to appreciate. I imagined my children getting frustrated with the small spaces and dissolving into tears. But the opposite happened. My kids clamped onto the books like a shark to a surfer. For the next several months, they spent every spare moment coloring.
They ARE Relaxing
Not going to lie, I expected it to be stressful. All those tiny spaces making up a complex design did not sound like a good time to me. However, I discovered the joy of picking out a handful of colors, turning your brain off, and blissfully spending an hour filling in little shapes with pencil strokes. No wonder these books are so popular.
The three of us spent over an hour coloring, talking, and laughing. We discussed what would look best, color options, and coordinated our efforts to finish the page.
When we finished, my five year old let out a satisfied sigh and said, “That was fun! Can we color some more tomorrow?”
So we did. We colored the next day, and the next. For her, spending an hour coloring with mom is the equivalent of a double-decker fudge sundae. Coloring together helped us connect on a deeper level and forge that mother-daughter bond you only read about.
Rediscover Your Kids
Coloring with my middle child taught me some important things about her personality. She finishes things. She has an eye for color and a taste for design. When tasked with something that interests her, she throws her full energies into it. She’s a dreamer, creative, and smart.
Whether you decide to color on your own or with someone else, it’s fun. There’s a reason women all over this country are hosting coloring parties for their friends! It’s a good excuse to get together and talk while coloring the evening away. It’s much better than watching TV or scrolling through Facebook.
Recommended Adult Coloring Books
Now that you know how awesome they are, you need to get your hands on some adult coloring books. You can find them in just about any store you go to, but the quality can vary widely. Here are a few that I love.
This is the first coloring book I bought and it’s been a favorite in my house. My middle child especially loves coloring the hairdos, braids, and designs in the book. I even got to go to the release party and meet the artist. She’s incredible!
This is the book that started the whole adult coloring craze. As you color the gorgeous black and white drawings, you’ll also hunt for hidden animals throughout the book.
Fans of Jane Austen can spend many happy hours getting lost in the world of Pride and Prejudice. Color scenes from the book, quotes, and designs all inspired by Austen’s most popular novel.
Looking for something fun to do at your next Harry Potter themed party? Maybe you just want a coloring book that appeals to both you AND your kids. This coloring book fits the bill. If you like this one, check out the coloring books for Dr. Who, Game of Thrones, and Throne of Glass.
Recommended Coloring Tools
Gel pens are by far my favorite tool to use in my adult coloring books. They lay down bright, even color that goes on like butter. They will get used up much faster than regular markers or colored pencils, but in my opinion, they’re worth it.
If you prefer colored pencils, Prismacolor makes the best. I’ve had my set of Prismacolors since I was a teen and they’re my go-to colored pencil. They’ve been dropped, banged, moved across the continent, and they’re still holding up. They’re also the brand that most artists and illustrators use in their artwork. So if you’re going the colored pencil route, do yourself a favor and use Prismacolor. You’ll be glad you did!
If you want a coloring tool that’s kid friendly, I suggest Melissa and Doug Non-Roll Markers. My kids and I have tried oodles of markers, and these surpassed the competition. The colors are bright and go on evenly. They last forever and look great the whole time.
One of my college roommates created gorgeous artwork with these markers. I’ve never used them (all markers in my house must be kid-friendly) but I know many people that swear by them. So if you don’t have kids or if you have a way of hiding these from your kids, this an adult-friendly alternative to the Melissa and Doug markers.
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