I admit, when I heard that coloring was the new thing for adults, I laughed. But then, I sat, thought about how much I'm already into arts and crafts, and how much fun it used to be...and headed over to Amazon to start my search for the perfect coloring book. Which then turned into a lengthy debate over the best coloring medium. Do I go with crayons? Colored pencils? Markers?
I picked out two coloring books to start Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns and Detailed Designs and Beautiful Patterns (Volume 28). They both had nice thick paper so nothing bled through from one page to the other. If you have a heavy hand, I'd err on the side of caution and just put a regular piece of paper between the page you're coloring and the next page.
Picking what you're going to color with is where things get fun. My mom decide to delve into this new little hobby with me and went straight for the standard 64 count Crayola crayons. That's a teacher for you, ha! She quickly figured out that some of the designs are rather intricate and had to join me in my pursuit for the best coloring medium. Ultimately, she went with the Prismacolor premium 72 color pencil set and I bought the Raffine 72 color pencil set, which are essentially the Japanese knock-offs. I love them, and mom is thrilled with her colored pencils too. By the way, I'm super jealous. Her pencils hold up just a touch longer and are a little easier to blend colors.
My friends who are into card making, drawing or are otherwise truly artistically gifted swear that I should buy Copic markers and that they are the best. thing. ever. But I about fell out of my seat when I saw the price...so that's just not happening!
Think coloring would be fun but don't want to invest yet? Coloring apps to the rescue!
There are a few good ones out there. I'm partial to Colorfy. If you're following me on Instagram, you've seen a bit of my artwork (and if you haven't - behold a few of my fabulous images above!). Colorfy has a handful of categories of pictures (flowers, animals, mandalas, etc) but the number of pictures in each level that are available to you increase based on how many of your completed pictures you share on social media. I'm all for sharing, but I'm not sure you want to see some of these things!
If the ability to express yourself creatively doesn't convince you to buy a coloring book, there are health benefits to coloring too! Coloring is a stress free (and stress relieving) activity, which allows your brain the rest it needs and over time, might even help train your amygdala to respond better to stress. Add in the prospect of a coloring night with your friends (I see a girl's night in coming!), and the fine motor skills that are used while coloring - which helps delay/prevent brain atrophy - and I think coloring is a no-lose prospect!
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