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What does Color by number help with?

Color by number has become an increasingly popular hobby and pastime for people of all ages. Working on color by number pages can provide a variety of benefits for mental health, cognitive skills, and even physical health. In this article, we’ll explore the range of ways that color by number activities can be helpful and supportive.

Stress Relief and Relaxation

One of the key benefits of color by number pages is stress relief and relaxation. The methodical process of coloring inside the lines and choosing colors provides a focused, mindful activity that can lower stress and anxiety levels. As opposed to allowing your mind to race, color by number requires concentration on the present moment. This is similar to meditation and has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

Color by number provides an artistic outlet without the need for drawing skills. The coloring process can put you in a state of flow where you become absorbed in the repetitive motion of choosing and applying colors. This can provide a break from any stressful thoughts or feelings you may be experiencing. The end result is a beautiful work of art that can also boost your mood through the sense of accomplishment.

Improved Focus and Attention

Working on color by number pages requires focused attention on the task at hand. You must concentrate to stay inside the lines and select the correct colors for each section. This process helps build your attention skills and can strengthen cognitive abilities like focus, concentration, and hand-eye coordination.

Our digital devices offer constant distractions and divided attention. Color by number provides opportunity for mindful single-task focus. As you complete more complex pages, you must pay close attention to detail in order to color the sections accurately. Over time, regularly practicing this focused attention can translate into improved attention span and concentration in other areas of life.

Motor Skills Development

Color by number also helps promote fine motor skill development. The motions involved with coloring, like grasping pencils and controlling strokes, can improve dexterity and hand-eye coordination. The repetitive motions involved are great practice for building strength and proficiency in your hands and fingers.

For children, working on color by number pages can help develop pre-writing skills and dexterity needed for tasks like using utensils, buttoning clothing, and handwriting. The structured method provides a great opportunity to learn to grip and control a pencil. For seniors and those with limited mobility, coloring provides gentle but beneficial exercise for the hands and fingers to maintain strength and flexibility.

Decision Making and Planning

Choosing which colors to use for each section of a color by number page engages decision making and planning skills. You must interpret the color key, formulate a color scheme, and make choices about which colors to apply. More advanced images require planning strategies to effectively complete the intricate designs.

Making all of these color selections engages executive functioning skills like logic, planning, and color theory knowledge. As you progress to more complex images, you must also decide on the color order and technique to maintain your selected scheme. This boosts cognitive flexibility, strategy, and visual spatial skills.

Memory and Learning

Completing color by number activities can help build memory, especially short-term and visual memory skills. To accurately color each section, you need to memorize the color associations from the key and recall where to apply each one. Holding this color pattern in your head engages your short-term memory.

You also utilize visual memory each time you return to the page and recall which areas you have already colored. As the image emerges, you rely on recall of the color placements. When using multiple mediums like markers, pencils, and crayons, you have to remember which tool goes with each color. These memory boosting benefits help strengthen cognitive function.

Emotional Wellbeing

Coloring within the structured lines of color by number pages can also provide emotional benefits related to psychological wellbeing. The calming, meditative process can help manage emotions. It provides a constructive outlet for expressing yourself through color choices and art.

When you complete a piece, you have created something beautiful that conveys positivity. This can build confidence, self-esteem, and increase optimism. Displaying finished pages also allows you to appreciate your hard work. All of these benefits are great for overall mental health and happiness.

Social Connectedness

Color by number activities can also facilitate social connections. Coloring books are often shared experiences among family members, friends, coworkers, and even strangers. Working on them in groups provides quality time together and a chance for meaningful conversations.

You can also bond over choosing color palettes and styles. Some books are designed specifically for multiple artists. Connecting over artwork and exchanging tips brings people together in an enjoyable shared experience.


As you can see, color by number pages offer far more than just a pleasant pastime. The structured coloring process provides immense benefits for mental and physical health. It promotes relaxation, focused attention, cognitive skills, motor skills, decision making, memory, emotional wellbeing, and social connectedness. With so many helpful effects, it’s easy to see why color by number activities are becoming more and more popular.

Color by number is an excellent hobby for both children and adults. There are books available for all skill levels. It’s a great way to reduce stress, practice mindfulness, improve focus and concentration, build dexterity, engage your brain, boost your mood, and connect with others. So grab some colored pencils, markers, or crayons and enjoy the many benefits of coloring your way to happiness and wellbeing.