Looking for a screen-free way to entertain your little one? The
best coloring books for toddlers feature simplistic images with thick, bold lines that are easy for your tot to identify and color in. Each coloring book has its own theme — from animals to princesses to automotives, and everything in between — so choose the one that you think would most interest your child. Many options are also educational, featuring numbers, shapes, letters, and more. Some brands list a recommended age range for their coloring book, and this can be a helpful guide to identify the products that are age-appropriate for your toddler.
If you’re concerned about the mess that can result from your toddler using a traditional coloring book with markers, there are alternatives worth considering. Some coloring books use special pens that are filled with water instead of ink to allow your little one to essentially color mess-free. Best yet, they're reusable; when the water dries, the image fades, and your little one can color all over again. Other coloring books use specific markers that only show up on the special paper, instead of the walls, carpet, and anywhere else.
These seven coloring books are all favorites on Amazon since they feature eye-catching images that aren’t too complex for young artists. And since they’re all under $15, you may want to pick up a couple of different ones to let your toddler’s creativity flourish.
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An Educational Coloring Book
Coloring pages: 100+ Ages: 1 to 3
If you’re looking for a fun coloring book that’s also educational, this
My First Toddler Coloring Book is your best bet. But don’t just take my word for it; Amazon reviewers adore this pick, too, giving it a knockout 4.8-star rating on the site, among 4,800 and growing reviews.
The paperback coloring book features more than 100 large, bold images that explore numbers, letters, shapes, colors, animals, simple words, and counting.
This pick is also available in a spiral-bound edition.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This coloring book is absolutely wonderful for learning toddlers. Each page is simple and uncluttered with a thickly drawn image which makes it very simple to point out and teach as you move along the pages. I love that this is simple and uncomplicated unlike most other similar choices out there. It’s a wonderful learning tool and plan to get more as gifts."
A Coloring Book Filled With Cars, Trucks, & Trains
Coloring pages: 100 Ages: Not specified (but the book indicates that it’s specifically for toddlers)
Automotive enthusiasts will adore this
paperback toddler coloring book, since it features 100 pages of things that go, like cars, planes, trucks, trains, and more. The images are simple with thick outlines, and there are plenty of large areas available for coloring. With a standout 4.8-star rating on Amazon among hundreds of reviews, it’s safe to say that parents on the site approve of this pick. Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My two-year-old has fun with this; he loves to color, and this is a coloring book that he can actually use. Instead of those super thin, newsprint paper type pages in a lot of coloring books, these are nicer so he can't tear them as easily, and these are pictures of things he understands instead of being aimed at kids years older [...] Since they are simply designed illustrations, it is helping him understand how to use the book." Coloring pages: 48 Ages: Not specified (but the book indicates that it’s specifically intended for kids and toddlers)
Sea animals, jungle animals, woodland animals, farm animals, and circus animals — oh my! This
paperback toddler coloring book features all of the animals your toddler could ever dream up. And the best part is that the images aren't too complex, so they're easy for your little one to color in. There’s only one image per page (with no picture on the reverse side), so your toddler can rip out their artwork and proudly display it in your home. The thick paper also minimizes bleed-through. Amazon reviewers give this pick the stamp of approval; the coloring book boasts a solid 4.8-star rating on the site, among 600-plus reviews. Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This book is great for a toddler just starting to color on her own. My 1.5 year old searches for this book on her shelf and loves to point out the different animals, even when she's not coloring. The pages are very thick, which is unusual for a coloring book. Combined with the fact that there is one image per page (no image on reverse), you can't see through the page. This makes the pages a good material for writing letters to friends/family and including a baby coloring art piece. [...] Overall, I love this book best of the three coloring books we've purchased so far."
A Princess Coloring Book
Coloring pages: 192 Ages: 3 to 5
Your toddler will truly be enchanted by this
My First Big Book Of Princesses coloring book. The paperback coloring book features a whopping 192 pages of princess-themed pictures. And while the images may be a bit more complex than with some of the other options on this list, they're drawn with thick, black lines that are easy to color in, making this a perfect pick for toddlers. According to Amazon reviewers, the paper is sturdy enough to prevent bleed-through from markers, and the images are big enough to accommodate thick crayons (and still-developing hand-eye coordination). Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Huge book - soooo many color pages. It is a super simple coloring book with bright white very thick paper - can paint or use markers and it won't bleed through. The drawings are easy for a toddler to color, not complex. There is plenty of room to [embellish] the sheets - such as adding grass and flowers and a sun, etc. My [granddaughter] and I color for hours with our new Big Books."
A Dinosaur Coloring Book
Coloring pages: 50 Ages: 2 to 5
Get ready for a “roaring” good time — this
My Cute Dinosaur coloring book is filled with adorable dinosaur images that your little one will love to look at and fill with color. The hand-drawn illustrations are totally unique, and they’re printed on just one side of the bright white paper, so your tot can tear out their finished artwork and display it proudly.
This pick also comes with an ebook that features 20 additional coloring pages. Print them out for your child to keep the fun going.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "My son got super excited receiving his dinosaur coloring book ! Great smooth pages for its price can’t beat that !"
A Mess-Free Coloring Kit
Coloring pages: 18 Ages: 3+
Trust me when I say that having a mess-free coloring option is a literal godsend when you have a toddler. And this
coloring kit from Crayola certainly fits the bill; it has five special markers that only appear on the 18 coloring pages — even if your toddler uses them on the walls. Since this pick has a whopping 4.8-star rating on Amazon, among 4,400 and growing reviews, it’s safe to say that parents on the site are just as wild about this pick as I am.
The kit comes with a folder to store the coloring pages, since they’re not bound together. It’s a great pick for at-home use and for travel, too.
Choose from pages featuring a range of characters, including Baby Shark, Paw Patrol, Moana, and Peppa Pig.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I’ve purchased 3 different themes and I must say I like that they don’t send the same color markers with each pack. I LOVE the mess free. I can literally leave the same room as my child without the fear of seeing a stick figure on my white walls. Thank you to whoever came up with that idea."
A Set Of Reusable Coloring Pads With Water Pens
4 per pad (12 total) Coloring pages: Ages: 3 to 7
coloring books from Melissa & Doug are worth every penny since they’re totally reusable, providing hours and hours of entertainment for your little one. Watch as your toddler uses the chunky water pen to “color” on the pages. Once the water dries, the color fades away, and your kiddo can start the process all over again.
This pick comes with three spiral-bound coloring books (themed farm, safari, and under the sea) and three refillable water pens, which you can store ins the cover of the books when not in use.
While not quite as mess-free as the
Crayola coloring kit, this pick is still a less-messy alternative to traditional coloring books. Enthusiastic Amazon review: "If you haven't yet purchased and used these, please do yourself a favor and do so. We first saw these in a [gift shop] while on a trip, and wanted something our 3 year old could use again and again. This fits the bill. They are economical, and are really cool too. The water stays in the "paint brush" and doesn't leak unless you flop the brush around. The water comes out evenly on the board, and the colors/pictures are clear and crisp. After about 5 min., the picture fades and they can do it again. It's really the perfect thing to have on a car trip, while waiting in an office, or just needing to occupy 7-10 min. of his time. I would highly recommend these!"