Why Colouring Pages for Adults Are Great For Bonding With Your Kids

While colouring pages for adults have been around for several decades, they have quickly regained popularity over the past few years. If you haven't noticed, these types of books are selling like crazy. And why wouldn't they? In a technology-driven world, this return to pencil and paper enables us to tune out the constant stresses of our everyday life. But there's more to adult colouring than just providing us with a much-needed escape.

I always loved to colour in when I was a kid. I loved it so much that I was actually still colouring in high school. And then I was told that my hobby was just for kids, so, I decided to "grow up." Decades later (which would probably give you a faint idea of how old I am), I’ve realized that my daughter has the same passion for colouring in as I had had (and still do!). About 12 months ago, she asked me to buy her colouring books and crayons. And then one day, as I was hunting for a new colouring book for her, I came across adult colouring books which, little did I know, were all the rage. Well, colour me surprised.

colouring pages for adults

And since the word "adult" was in them, I didn’t think it would be too immature of me to try them out. I started colouring a page or two whenever my daughter was on the playground. It seemed like an appropriate place to let out my inner child, and when my daughter realized I was doing something she loved, she was delighted.

Just like that, we became colouring partners. Now we each delight in getting our own colouring book out and sitting down together to colour our pages and show off our individual artwork. Instead of asking my daughter to give me my much-needed break whenever I feel stressed out, I ask her to join me for some quiet time together. Instead of putting off her sometimes incessant chatter when I want to relax, I have become a listening ear to her stories, ideas, and experiences. My “me” time has become a “we” time. And all thanks to a colouring book.

So if you’re a parent with a child who loves to colour, you might want to invest in some of these books. Trust me, it’s an investment that will enable you to reap the rewards for years to come. 

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Achieving Mindfulness with Adult Colouring

Move over meditation, there's a new mindfulness technique in town - adult colouring. While some people may still be skeptical about the various benefits of colouring pages for adults, several experts and non-experts have come forward touting this activity as the new form of digital detox and so much more. But before we go into how mindfulness is achieved through colouring, let's first delve a little into what mindfulness is. After all, what do we really know about it except what we THINK we know?

According to Wikipedia, there are several definitions of mindfulness, depending on who is using it and how it is applied. For the purpose of this article, we will define mindfulness as "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment" and enabling us to see things clearly. Obviously, this state does not truly eliminate the pressures of daily living. What it does is provide us with a calm and clear mind which enables us to face and respond to these pressures with insight and understanding. In much simpler terms, mindfulness helps us become more aware of our actions and thoughts, stops us from responding automatically to our experiences, and enables us to make wiser choices.

So, how does adult colouring enable us to reach such a state? Well, we all know how stress can trigger worrisome thoughts to crowd in your brain, making you unable to relax, focus, or become mentally aware of the present. Colouring, according to clinical psychologist Dr. Ben Michaelis, actually lowers the level of activity in the part of your brain that is involved with fear – the amygdala. When your amygdala is relaxed, you also feel relaxed because your mind becomes clear of worries.

Colouring pages for adults

Dr. Michaelis isn’t the first psychologist to believe this. Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist and psychotherapist, studied the therapeutic benefits of adult colouring AND used this technique to help his patients calm and center their minds. Research conducted in 2005 also discovered the same thing – colouring mandalas helped individuals lower their anxiety levels.

Another expert, clinical counselor Leslie Marshall, believes that colouring within the lines requires you to access your frontal lobe which is the part of your brain involved in organization and problem solving. This enables you to focus your mind on the present, not on whatever troubles or distractions that surround you.

It must be stated that this activity isn’t exactly like art therapy as some might claim. However, its ability to help you become more self-aware and to switch off the constant buzzing in your brain can provide you with the state of mindfulness that some aspire to through meditation. In fact, for some, colouring is better than art therapy which can cause fear and anxiety to those of us who are less creative. Here, you have no right or wrong colour. You only have a limited space to work with, a limited number of colours to choose from, and the repetitive motion of sliding your pencil or crayon back and forth on the paper. And while the action is definitely repetitive and limiting, there’s still a sense of accomplishment and progression when you see something “creative” and beautiful slowly forming as the colour spreads across the page.

So… want to achieve mindfulness? Maybe you should try it. The hardest thing you’ll ever face is choosing which colouring book to buy.

5 Reasons Why Colouring Pages for Adults Will Brighten Your World

Unlike what we've been taught in the past, picking up a crayon isn't exclusively for kids. Colouring pages for adults are taking the world by storm, and this is actually a great thing. While some may scoff at the thought of reverting back to this childhood activity, science has found several reasons why colouring can make life a little bit better a page at a time.

#1: Colouring helps you focus.

We live in a fast-paced world where sometimes everything is a blur. It's hard to concentrate in the here and now when you are juggling so many balls in the air. Colouring, according to neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski, enables us to switch off all the thoughts running through our heads and helps us focus on the present. In fact, his research has shown that it also affects us physically by lowering heart rate and making changes in brainwaves.

#2: Colouring reduces stress & anxiety.

Stress causes our bodies to initiate the "fight or flight" response which causes us to experience jumbled thoughts and emotions. Colouring is a great way to relax your mind and give it a break from the hustle and bustle of life. Brain scientists have found that the relaxation found in colouring actually lowers the level of activity in your amygdala - the part of the brain that is involved with emotions, motivation, and emotional behavior.

What does this mean? When your amygdala is stimulated, it causes you to feel intense emotion such as fear. Stress can cause this stimulation. Adult colouring, on the other hand, helps lessen the stimulation. In short, you feel calmer and more laid back while you are brightening up the artwork in your book.

According to some psychologists, colouring also tricks our brains into remembering a time when we weren't stressed to the max - our childhood. Some believe that it helps replace the negative imagery in our head with pleasant images. In fact, for some experts, colouring ranks right up there with meditation as one of the best relaxation techniques.

#3: Colouring can increase your productivity.

Yes, you read it right. Colouring can help you be more productive at work. A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology in 2014 found that individuals who engaged in creative activities after work were not only better able to recover from a demanding work environment, but were also able to perform at a higher level at work.

#4: Colouring can help you become more social.

Since colouring pages for adults became popular, a new social event has come to life - the colouring party. Once considered a solo activity, colouring has become another way for friends to connect, relax, and gossip while creating "works of art." The best part of it all is that no one feels pressured about not being good enough or artistic enough because there is never a wrong way to colour. Unlike some arts and crafts activities, you not only get to do something creative with friends and family, you also produce artwork that you aren't embarrassed to hang on your walls.

Because of its increasing popularity, colouring groups have also started popping up on Facebook and in local communities (i.e. libraries). With these groups, individuals are able to meet new people who have a similar hobby – people who they might never have met or gotten to enjoy spending time with had they not started colouring.

#5: Colouring helps get your creative juices flowing.

With so many things bogging us down, it’s hard to be creative at times. Research has shown that performing right-brain focused activities, such as music and art, helps tap your creativity and imagination (however deeply you think they are hidden). Even when you’re trying to stay inside the lines, colouring can help you think outside the box and come up with bright new ideas.

Now, if these reasons backed by science aren’t enough for you to start colouring, here’s one reason that might sway your mind. Colouring, as we discovered in our childhood, is fundamentally fun. There’s nothing better than looking at a vibrantly-coloured picture, knowing that it was your hand that made it bright and alive.

How to Host a Party with Colouring Pages for Adults

It's no secret that colouring pages for adults are a growing trend right now with all the benefits that they give. So we aren't surprised, with all these benefits, to see them crop up as a girl's night out alternative! Yep. Some people are trading a noisy night out on the town for a night of laughs, creativity, and colouring.

And why not?

Sure, colouring is a good way to enjoy some solitary fun, but it can be a great deal more pleasurable to do it with friends. And since it doesn’t require too much concentration, you will still be able to enjoy a great gossip session with your gal pals while creating your very own artwork. With this in mind, we decided to give you some tips on how to host a smashing colouring party.

colouring pages for adults

Tip #1: Pick a theme

While you can host an ordinary party with just some snacks and refreshment for your friends, it's all the more enjoyable if you have a theme. You can do "Coffee, Cookies, and Colours", "Colour Between the Wines", or "Colouring and Cocktails". With your theme picked out, you can then choose what decor and refreshments you want to set out. You can even send out themed invites just for fun!

Tip #2: Provide a selection of adult colouring books

While some of your friends may already have their own stuff, it's always a good thing to have a selection at hand for first-timers, (not to mention that some of your guests might also want to try something new)! After all, colouring is all about unleashing creativity. Don't forget to look around ye ol' internet for free adult colouring pages too!

Tip #3: Set out various colouring tools to experiment with

Everyone has their own preferences – some like colouring pencils while others prefer markers. But it’s nice to mix things up once in a while.

Tip #4: Use colourful snacks and refreshments to brighten up the party

It doesn’t matter what your theme is, you can always serve something colourful to match your activity. Coloured cookies or cocktails will definitely brighten up your party.

Tip #5: Create a colouring challenge

While colouring and spending time with your friends is definitely enjoyable, why not bring the fun up a notch with a challenge? One idea is to use only three colours to complete a page. Or why not make it a bit of a contest for the most unique or creative colouring, providing a goodie bag or prize for the winner! There are a lot of other challenges you might propose--just use your imagination!

Hopefully, these tips will help you get started with your plans to host a very memorable colouring party for you and your friends. And when you’re done, and your party has been a success (which of course it will be), don’t forget to set a date for the next one!

Top 5 Colouring Tools for Adult Colouring Pages

Colouring pages for adults are all the rage as is evidenced by the fact that so many of these books are being sold online and in local stores. Their increased popularity is due to the fact that they have been found to help you de-stress, focus on the present, and bond with your friends and family. So, if you think about it, it really doesn't matter what "tools" you use to create your colouring masterpiece.

It's the activity itself that generates the benefits. If you truly want to bring these intricate illustrations to life, however, choosing the right art utensils is a decision that you cannot leave to chance. Below we've listed some of our favorite tools that have helped us create vibrant colours that blend well and, most importantly, last.

Colouring tools for adults

1. Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Coloured Pencils

coloured pencils for adult colouring pages

When it comes to coloured pencils, Prismacolors are the best of the best. These are not your average colouring pencils, and they certainly cost a lot more. Why are these our top pick? Because they create a smooth and vibrant laydown of colour, can be easily blended, and don't wear down fast. Prismacolor also has an awesome colour selection. Aside from the cost, the only thing that concerns us about these pencils is that they can break if you use a mounted sharpener.

2. Derwent Artists Coloured Pencils

coloured pencils for adult colouring pages

Like Prismacolor, Derwent coloured pencils are soft core pencils that produce an amazingly vivid laydown of colour. They blend extremely well, allowing you to create really beautiful effects, and feel really nice in to hold. As an added bonus, these pencils are thicker and are priced lower than Prismacolor so you get more "bang for your buck." The downside of these pencils is that they don't work as well as Prismacolor when it comes to precision work. All in all, we'd say that your masterpiece will look very life-like with these beauties.

3. Sargent Art 50-Count Assorted Coloured Pencils

coloured pencils for adult colouring pages

The two things we love about these pencils are that they fit right in anyone's budget and that they don't make you regret your purchase because of low quality. They are actually pretty great.To be fair, though, they aren't in the same league as the other two we've mentioned. For one, they aren't as vibrant or as blendable. But for beginners (who might have no idea about blending or shading), these are definitely the set you should start with. The colours are nice and bright, the pencils don't break easily, and they stay sharp longer than other pencils in a similar price range.

4. Sakura Gelly Roll Gel Pens

gel pens for adult colouring pages

If pens are more your thing, then Sakura Gelly Roll pens should be your pick. Gel pens work great when colouring the fine, intricate details found in colouring pages for adults. And these particular pens come in really fun options like metallic and glitter!

Aside from the fun colours, using gel pens like these is easy on your fingers - no need to press down hard to get the colour on paper. Now, these pens don't come cheap. But for the price, you get pens that don't run out of ink quickly and have a really nice flow (they don't "skip" when you apply light pressure when colouring). The downside to gel pens, however, is that you have to wait for the ink to dry so that the colours won't smudge.

5. Copic Ciao Art Markers

markers for adult colouring pages

Markers are fun for colouring because you don't need to apply too much pressure to create rich layers of colour on paper. They're also quicker to use. However, some markers tend to oversoak paper especially when you're blending which means you might not be able to use the other side of the page because the colour has bled into it.

Fortunately, Copic has made markers that are rich in colour, smooth, blendable, and have no "bleeding" effect. As an added bonus, these markers can be refilled and the nibs can be replaced! The only downside to Copic Ciao Art Markers is the price. So if you're on a budget, these are definitely not for you. But for serious, colouring fanatics, you might want to add these to your "tool set."

Of course, the best thing about this activity is that there are no rules. You don't have to go out and buy one of these in order to get a really great experience or create colouring masterpieces. Do what you like, use what feels good to you. Crayons, oil pastels, paint, sharpie markers - whatever makes you happy. So colour away!