Raising Kids

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18 Awesome Children’s Coloring Books

Get the crayons ready.

Coloring is such a foundational part of childhood. It helps kids work on their fine motor skills, introduces them to art, develops their concentration, and helps them work on coordination they’ll need for writing. Simply giving them some clean paper and a pack of colors is enough to set them on the road to all kinds of creative discoveries. However, keeping a child’s attention might require a bit more, say for instance, a great children’s coloring book.

Children’s coloring books offer kids a focus to their exploration of various hues, markers, crayons, pencils, or otherwise. But a toddler might not be ready for a detailed book of planetary illustrations. Nor would a Melissa & Doug coloring book likely keep the attention of a 10-year-old. Just as children’s literature begins with board books and moves up to chapter books, coloring books are the same way. There are a variety to choose from be it pre-k, elementary, or beyond that you’re after.

Plus, smart writers and illustrators are now using coloring books as more than a space to play with crayons. Many of these books are just as informative as they are beautifully illustrated with lessons on numbers, science, history, and even inclusivity. All the better for kids. They can get an education while they make art.

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A Black History Coloring Book

Eager to educate your child on black history beyond the month of February? Invest in this fun book, Black HIstory Coloring for Kids. Focused on 30 black heroes (think Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman), it engages children in the past one person at a time. Designed for kids ages 4 to 8, it takes history and puts it into a one-page snapshot of the past that children can understand. Each individual illustration comes with a mini biography to explain who the person was and what they did building kids curiosity in the process and better appreciation for these remarkable individuals.

A Coloring Book Specifically For Toddlers

When you’re still learning how to hold a pen or crayon, you need a lot of space to color. This toddler-friendly book gets that with large illustrations of things toddlers understand: like images of fruit or shapes. With 100 large illustrations they can explore the space in this easy to use coloring book. And there are activities to complete as well. For example, counting challenges, shape identification, simple words, and introductions to letters. With large bubble words, they can color in the letters too, helping boost their understanding of language while also exploring colors and movement in the same process.

An Inspirational Coloring Book For Kids

When you’re still learning how to hold a pen or crayon, you need a lot of space to color. This toddler-friendly book gets that with large illustrations of things toddlers understand: like images of fruit or shapes. With 100 large illustrations they can explore the space in this easy to use coloring book. And there are activities to complete as well. For example, counting challenges, shape identification, simple words, and introductions to letters. With large bubble words, they can color in the letters too, helping boost their understanding of language while also exploring colors and movement in the same process.

An Earth-Friendly Coloring Book

If you prefer your child’s art supplies to be Earth friendly, opt for this coloring book that comes with its own set of kid sized chubby beeswax crayons. Made in New Zealand, the crayons use food-grade pigments and are totally free from petroleum-based waxes. They’re also larger than traditional crayons to allow little hands to easily hold them. Paired together you’ve got a ready-to-go activity. Filled with simple illustrations of 40 different animals, your future zoologist can imagine their favorite creatures as they fill in the pages. Oh and the paper is 100% recycled too, another nice sustainability feature.

A Baby Shark Coloring Book

You may rue the day you ever heard this suggestion, but how about a Baby Shark Coloring book? You know your little one already loves the song. Chances are 18 coloring pages complete with five Color Wonder markers will also set their cork to bobbing. Because this book is for the littlest artists, the markers only appear on the paper itself and not on the skin (or walls or carpet or family pet… ). The kit also comes in a travel friendly pack making clean up easier as well. So even though you might not be able to handle the accompaniment of your kid singing “Baby Shark” while they fill this book in, you’ll certainly appreciate the lack of mess it results in.

A Bilingual Coloring Book

Research suggests that the earlier you can introduce a child to a second language, the better. But how to go about doing that can be a tricky thing. Do you get your child Spanish lessons when they’re still in diapers? Or do you hand them this bilingual coloring book to let them explore words on their own? There is no wrong or right answer, but this book can certainly help support your multilingual aspirations. The series was designed with brown kids in mind, according to the website. “ I created these coloring books because I wanted to mix our culture, with positivity, a little bit of fun, and a splash of education!” writes creator B. M. Hardin.

A Dot-to-Dot Coloring Book

Dot to dot is such a great way to incorporate coloring and numbers. Children have to follow numbers to create the picture, which also boosts their fine motor skill development. Then once they’ve created the images in this Melissa & Doug book, they can use their crayons to fill the pictures in. The book includes 40 connect the dot scenes featuring all kinds of wild animals like leopards and elephants using simpler 1 through 20 images then graduating to 1 to 50 images. But it’s not just limited to numbers. Children can also work on their Alphabet by following the ABCs to create images as well.

An Asian Skyline Coloring Book

Travel may be limited right now, but armchair travel can be cleared for take-off at any age. So why not let your child explore their world through a coloring book. In this one, Skylines of Asia, 80 pages featuring Asian city skylines like Dhaka, Bangladesh and Muscat, Oman are depicted giving children a world tour without having to leave their favorite coloring spot. And with a whopping 162 pages, they can return to their travels again and again seeing a new city and horizon each time. They’ll have their proverbial pictorial passport stamped many times over before they ever set foot overseas with this great book.

A Puppy Love Coloring Book

Who doesn’t love dogs? If you have a pup lover in your house, hand them this canine-centric coloring book. Sixty pages feature “pups wearing fantastic hats, piloting planes, playing accordions, and jumping playfully,” enough dog content to keep your kid occupied for at least an hour. This silly book really packs in the pooches with 64 pages of puppy love. You might have to opt for the super pack of crayons so they have enough colors to finish them all. Of course, your kiddo might have to take frequent breaks for laugh attacks. Artist Lulu Mayo is known for her hilarious depictions that will have your child in stitches.

A Baby Animal Coloring Book

Need more animal focused coloring options? Like your critters in their super adorable itty bitty state? Try this Animal Babies coloring book. In it, kids have the opportunity to color 50 cartoon aww-inducing characters including owls, kittens, bunnies, and puppies. These intricate drawings are mesmerizing and make for an extremely calming coloring experience, something that might make a great post-lunch activity as it's created for children in grades second to sixth. Calm everyone down by pulling out this book and hey, you might even try it yourself. Couldn’t hurt on those more stressful childcare days when you need to zone out a bit.

An Anti-Racism Coloring Book

Want to raise an anti-racist child but don’t know where to start? Consider this coloring book. Made up of images of tolerance and togetherness, community educator Kadeesha Bryant designed it to spread a message understanding and hope, and to give families a place to start discussing this difficult topic. For instance, pages include thought provoking messages like “The only thing that should be separated by color is laundry” or “There is one race that matters most. The human race.” A great gift or investment for your own home, children and parents can color the book together and discuss its themes along the way.

A Space-Focused Coloring Book

Have a future NASA astronaut on your hands? Need a way to channel your out-of-this-world kiddo’s energy? How about a space coloring book? Designed for young explorers, this book is filled with large illustrations of things like rocket ships, astronauts, planets, and even UFOs. And because your rocket man or woman might get a bit aggressive with the markers, all of the pages are one-sided to prevent bleed. Until they can enroll in flight school, give them this 80 page book to get them started imagining life on other planets, the future of space exploration, and their role in it.

A Harry Potter Coloring Book

For kids who love Harry Potter, there’s now a new alternative to just re-reading the series over and over again (although that’s great too). Now they can pretend their at Hogwarts by coloring in iconic scenes from the films. And the discerning Potter fan should approve. No scene has been left unillustrated. Everything from the Triwizard Cup to the Sorting Ceremony gets its due. But note, with detailed illustrations, this book might not be the best choice for little hands just learning how to color. Save this one for the older kids who still carry their box of Crayolas with them and keep wand at the ready.

A Cityscape Coloring Book

Some kids can sit and work on a coloring page for hours, carefully coloring in every inch. If that sounds familiar, give them something they can really sink their coloring hands into like this Fantastic Cities book. Created by artist Steve McDonald, it’s 60 pages of super intricate architectural landscapes from New York to Amsterdam, Rio to London. Any child who has an interest in building design will get a kick out of this gorgeous book that’s just as appealing to adults too. And if that’s not enough, McDonald also includes a selection of “mind-bending labyrinthine architectural illustrations for still deeper meditative coloring adventures and imaginative flights of fancy.”

A Giant Coloring Book

If fantasy is more your child’s thing, give them illustrator Eric Messinger Dominion of Giants Coloring Book. It takes children to a land where the super large rule with Kingdom Giants, Hill Giants, Mountain Giants, and War Giants among them. And to really make their pictures pop, Messenger also includes tips and tricks for how to use colors on the images, from shading to blending techniques as well as colored examples. For a child who shows a strong interest in illustration, this book is a great tutorial that can help bolster their confidence when it comes to making their own original art.

A Natural Hair Pride Coloring Book

Want to show your little girl that her natural hair is a thing of beauty? Check out Etsy vendor TMPurple’s Color With Me coloring book. Filled with cute one page, large illustrations of “afro puffs, bubbles, flowers, shades, and braids,” your child can take pride in their hair as they fill the pages in. With 31 designs, each printed on a single one-sided page, there’s plenty to play with here. But perhaps the best gift of this book is its subtle reminder to be yourself and love yourself from the tips of your toes to the tiniest hairs on your head.

An Intro to Chinese Coloring Book

Color coding has been show to help teach some children how to write. But that theory isn’t limited to English. Apply it to Chinese by introducing 36 basic Chinese characters with this coloring book. The Big Chinese Coloring Book for Little Hands was made especially for English speaking children and helps kids begin to understand the language with characters that derive from pictures. The idea is to get kids familiar with the shapes and build associations in English with the character meanings. It also can be used as a tool to build cultural awareness and is made for children ages 5 to 6 years old.

A Super Hero Coloring Book

Ever since they first came out, comics have been a great source of developing early readers. With captivating character who overcome all kinds of sticky situations, they’re enormously compelling. So you can imagine coloring them in would be just as attractive. Teach your kids about good and evil, and their own power by handing them a Color Me Powerful coloring book. This DC Hero universe features Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Bumblebee, and Katana, to name a few. Filled with not just illustrations but activities as well, you can empower your own budding super hero to be their best while they fill in this 144 page coloring book.

Get those colors ready. With this list of children’s coloring books, your little artist will be occupied for hours.