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It's National Coloring Day; Research shows coloring has health benefits for children and adults

Coloring can serve as a creative outlet, relieve stress and bring a sense of peace.
Credit: KFSM

Sept. 14 is National Coloring Day, and research shows that coloring has health benefits for both children and adults.

Coloring can serve as a creative outlet, relieve stress and bring a sense of peace.


As a stress-reducer, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore.

Adult coloring books have become very popular over the last few years and the selections range from abstract images and mandalas to favorite animated movie characters.

How does coloring bring adults pleasure and calm?

According to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, PsyD, it has everything to do with refocusing our attention. 

“Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness, Dr. Bea says. “It’s a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves in the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”

Adult coloring doesn’t relax everyone. Dr. Bea suggests that if you enjoyed coloring as a child, you likely will enjoy it as an adult. 

“Adults typically choose forms of activities they loved as children for their adult recreations,” Dr. Bea says.

Watch: Mayo Clinic Minute: Benefits of Coloring

Health benefits of coloring for adults, according to Beaumont:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Improve motor skills and vision
  • Improve sleep
  • Improve Focus


Watch: How Art Benefits Children

Health benefits of coloring for kids, according to colorpsychology.org:

  • Improves motor skills
  • Prepares them for school
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Contributes to better handwriting
  • Color awareness, recognition and discernment
  • Improved focus and hand to eye coordination
  • Boundaries, structure and spatial awareness
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem
  • Self-expression
  • Therapy and stress relief

Nationaltoday.com lists the following ways to celebrate National Coloring Day: 

  • Color - Whether you like crayons, colored pencils, pens or permanent markers, there are art supplies somewhere with your name on them! Grab your favorite materials and sit down with some paper or a coloring book. If you don't have one, go online to download and print out free coloring pages at home.
  • Have a coloring party - People love parties and you can share the joys of coloring with all your friends on National Coloring Day. Buy some colored pencils, a coloring book with perforated pages and spread them out on any flat surface. Share the colored pencils and socialize while you work!
  • Donate some art supplies - It's unfortunate that over the past decade, schools are experiencing reduced budgets for their fine arts programs. On National Coloring Day, make a difference by donating coloring supplies to your local school arts program. Many libraries also offer after-school activities and, thanks to your generous donation, coloring might just become one of the children's favorite activities.

To read more about National Coloring Day click here.

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