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What to color with kids?

Coloring is a fun, creative activity that kids of all ages enjoy. It helps develop fine motor skills, creativity, and concentration. When it’s time to break out the crayons, markers, or colored pencils, you want to have some good coloring pages on hand. But with so many options available, how do you choose what to color with kids? Here are some tips on the best coloring pages and books for different ages and stages.

Coloring for Toddlers

Toddlers (ages 1-3) benefit from simple coloring pages with thick, bold lines. These help them learn to grasp and control writing implements. Look for pages with familiar objects like animals, cars, trees, etc. Avoid detailed pages at this age.

Recommended Toddler Coloring Pages
Large shapes (circles, squares, etc.)
Simple pictures of animals, vehicles, etc.
Thick, bold outlines
Minimal detail

Stick to crayons at this age as toddlers are still developing their grip. Washable crayons are best. Provide blank paper too so they can experiment with scribbles and marks.

Coloring for Preschoolers

As preschoolers (ages 3-4) gain more control over their fine motor skills, they can handle slightly more complex coloring pages. Look for pages with familiar objects detailed enough to maintain interest but simple enough to color inside the lines.

Recommended Preschooler Coloring Pages
Simple shapes
Cars, trucks, trains
Nature objects (flowers, trees)
Simple holiday themes

Preschoolers can use crayons, but may also enjoy washable markers. You can introduce coloring books, but still provide blank paper for creative expression.

Coloring for Ages 5-8

Kids at this age (kindergarten through 2nd grade) have good control over writing implements and enjoy coloring in the details. Complex, highly detailed pages keep them engaged. Coloring books tailored for this age group feature popular characters, animals, fantasy scenes, vehicles, holidays, and more.

Recommended Coloring Pages for Ages 5-8
Intricate patterns and shapes
Popular cartoons and characters
Animals, dinosaurs, nature
Outer space, fairies, dragons
Seasonal and holiday themes

Markers, colored pencils, gel pens, and crayons are great for this age. Look for sharpeners and grips to help use pencils and markers easily.

Coloring for Older Kids Ages 9-12

At this age, kids can handle and appreciate intricate, challenging designs. Detailed mandala coloring books are popular for kids who can patiently focus. Other options include pages featuring nature, animals, fantasy characters, vehicles, sports, movies, TV shows, pop culture, science themes, and more.

Recommended Coloring Pages for Ages 9-12
Complex geometric patterns and mandalas
Very detailed animal designs
Favorite TV, movie, and video game characters
Science themes like anatomy and space
Sports cars, athletes, sports logos

Colored pencils and markers are great for this age. Consider adult coloring books too. Gel pens add fun metallic and glittery possibilities.

Tips for Coloring with Kids

Here are some tips to get the most out of coloring with kids:

Tips for Fun, Successful Coloring
– Set up a defined coloring area with a table and chairs at the right height
– Use washable supplies and cover the table with newspaper or a plastic cloth
– Store supplies organized in boxes or trays for easy access
– Let kids wear an oversized shirt as a smock if desired
– Focus on the process, not perfection
– Display finished pages proudly on the fridge or a wall

Coloring is not only fun for kids, but helps them develop important lifelong skills. With the right pages and supplies for their age, it’s an activity they can learn and enjoy for years to come!


Coloring is a versatile activity that can engage and benefit kids of all ages. The key is choosing developmentally-appropriate coloring pages and supplies to match each child’s motor skills and interests. Simple thick-lined pages are best for toddlers, while teens enjoy intricate designs. Preschoolers need familiar objects and big pictures. School-agers love coloring books with rich details featuring their favorite characters and themes. Equipped with quality coloring pages and art materials, kids will proudly display their creations and look forward to coloring time again and again!