Colouring Books: A Valuable Resource For Children And Adults

History Of Colouring Books

‘The McLoughlin Brothers are credited as the inventors of the colo(u)ring book, when, in the 1880s, they produced The Little Folks’ Painting Book, in collaboration with Kate Greenaway. They continued to publish colo(u)ring books until the 1920s when the McLoughlin Brothers became part of the Milton Bradley Company.

Another pioneer in the genre was Richard F. Outcault. He authored Buster’s Paint Book in 1907, featuring the character of Buster Brown, which he had invented in 1902. It was published by the Stokes Company. This launched a trend to use colo(u)ring books to advertise a wide variety of products, including coffee and pianos. Until the 1930s, books were designed with the intent for them to be painted instead of colo(u)red. Even when crayons came into wide use in the 1930s, books were still designed so that they could be painted or colo(u)red.’

Benefits For Children

It is well known that colouring books are great for keeping children amused on a rainy day, but there are many other benefits, especially for young children and children with special needs.  

  • Fine Motor Development: Colouring helps children develop good finger grip. It provides an opportunity to practice holding a pencil the correct way and aids in developing those fine motor muscles in their hands, fingers, and wrist.
  • Concentration: Children’s length of concentration develops and improves over time. Colouring requires good concentration and this type of focusing on one task can help a child develop his or her overall concentration levels.
  • Colour Recognition: Colouring in activities encourages colour awareness. Using different colours gives children an opportunity to explore different combinations and lets them see how they can change the appearance of the picture. It is great also for gaining awareness of the lesser known colours.
  • Hand & Eye Coordination:   Colouring in assists in the development of hand & eye coordination as the child learns to colour within the specified area. Watching and doing and coordinating both actions is a developing skill when colouring in. When children first start colouring they will have a tough time keeping within the lines but as they progress their skill will increase. Staying inside the lines takes considerable skill and when they master it they gain a sense of pride and achievement.
  • Sense of Pride and Achievement:   We need to give young children every opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth. If they can create something that is aesthetically pleasing, then this will help in the positive development of their personality..
  • Creativity: Colouring in stimulates creative thinking.   Children can develop a drawing style and enjoy making an imaginary world. Children learn to plan as they decide the colours they will use in their picture and then what order they are going to colour things within the picture. As their confidence grows, they are more likely to take risks and experiment with colour, patterns, and special effects with pencil or marker strokes.

A Posy Of Wild Flowers Colouring Book

Following on from my children’s poetry book about wild flowers and trees – A Posy of Wild Flowers, ( beautifully illustrated with added flowers fairies by my sister, Angela Corkery), and the accompanying 2021 calendar, the next thing waiting in the wings is a colouring book. This is still a work in progress but hopefully will become a reality soon.

The proposed cover of the colouring book
One of the proposed pages for the colouring book

Benefits For Adults

Many adults have returned to colouring books because they find it helps them to relax and helps them cope with stress. they are a good tool for mindfulness. Colouring books for adults have become very popular in recent years. Here are some of the benefits…


Colo(u)ring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, the amygdala. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day at work.


Colo(u)ring goes beyond being a fun activity for relaxation. It requires the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate. While logic helps us stay inside the lines, choosing colo(u)rs generates a creative thought process.


Color(u)ring goes beyond being a fun activity for relaxation. It requires the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate. While logic helps us stay inside the lines, choosing colo(u)rs generates a creative thought process.


We know we get a better night’s sleep when avoiding engaging with electronics at night, because exposure to the emitted light reduces your levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Colo(u)ring is a relaxing and electronic-free bedtime ritual that won’t disturb your level of melatonin.


Colo(u)ring requires you to focus, but not so much that it’s stressful. It opens up your frontal lobe, which controls organizing and problem solving, and allows you to put everything else aside and live in the moment, generating focus.’

Mom and Me: Upcoming Colo(u)ring Book For Adults By Gaurav Bhatnagar

My good friend, Gaurav Bhatnagar, who helped me with the illustrations for some of my books is just about to publish a beautiful colouring book for adults. Gaurav says: This upcoming colo(u)ring book “Mom and me” is dedicated to a mom’s love for her child and the bond they share. There are 40 stress-free handmade designs with 15 uplifting quotes by moms and children’s book authors. The images are beginner-friendly so there is no need for special skills or art experience.

The front cover of the book

Gaurav has kindly sent me 2 downloadable images that you can download to colour for yourselves. These are the images. Just click on the Url below each picture and save them to your computer for downloading. In return, Gaurav says:

When your Art is finished, share it with your friends and relatives or frame & gift the page to someone you love. You may even want to use the hashtag #momandme on instagram or facebook.

Would you like to help me spread the word about this upcoming book “Mom and Me”?

Please share the info link about this book among your Network that will be a great help to me. Link to share:

2 thoughts on “Colouring Books: A Valuable Resource For Children And Adults”

  1. You are so right that children and adults benefit from coloring books. I may contact you in a few months about your Wild Posey Coloring Book. I think it would be fun. Pat

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