It is no secret that adult coloring books have become a "thing." Coloring is no longer considered a childish activity only for little kids. The internet is filled with articles about the benefits of coloring for adults. Many of these same benefits apply to seniors and elders as well. But, their needs are different due to failing eye sight or hand control. Large print coloring books for seniors, for example, help elders get the benefits of coloring.
Many of the benefits of coloring for adults are helpful to seniors and the elderly as well. There are even a few extra benefits too!
This is a common complaint among seniors and elders. After having a busy, full life, suddenly they are not able to do the things they have enjoyed in the past. It is important to occupy that time. Activities like coloring are fun and helpful at the same time.
Coloring is often done with more than one person in a social setting, This is especially true for seniors in a group home setting. Coloring can also be a social event within the family. It is a great bonding activity for older adults to do with younger grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The motion of coloring requires constant control on the crayon or pencil. This movement exercises the muscles of the hand and arm and improves fine motor control and coordination.
Coloring brings back simpler times for seniors and triggers memories they haven't though about in years. For seniors and elders with dementia, this can be therapeutic as well.
When people color, they have an opportunity to express their creativity. Using interesting color combinations or even coloring outside of the lines are creative expressions. This should be encouraged among seniors as much as with little kids.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of coloring for adults, Medical Daily has a great article on that subject.
The most popular adult coloring books today are mandalas. You know the ones. The ones with the highly detailed geometric patterns. Many people claim that coloring these offers therapeutic benefits and can even heal. I am not going to get into that debate for this article though.
Many seniors and elders though are unable to color such detailed patterns. Their eyesight may be failing so that they cannot see the lines well. They may have tremors or be losing fine motor control so they cannot keep the color between the lines. Frustrated, they may just give up. Fortunately, there are many large print games and other items for seniors.
This is where the specialty large print coloring books for seniors come in. These coloring books have larger printed patterns with thicker lines. Many contain simple landscape scenes or familiar objects. The spaces are larger and easier to color in.
Look for a coloring book that not only has large print and open spaces, but also offers some complexity. The senior or elder does not want to feel like they are using a child's coloring book. An example would be a large print pattern of a flower or an animal with lots of interesting spaces to fill in. Stay away from basic shape outlines and simple designs.
Don't forget that the type of coloring pencils or markers matters. Many seniors with arthritis or hand deformities cannot use skinny pencils and pens. Keeping a tight grip on these will lead to pain and discomfort.
Look for coloring pens that are larger in size but also offer a smaller tip. A finer tip will allow them to get into smaller places and have better control of the final design. Big, fat tips are hard to control and stay in the lines, which leads to frustrations as well.
Look for coloring markers like these AmazaPens from Amazon. These markers are fatter than standard coloring pens. They also offer dual tips: a fine tip for close in coloring and a fatter tip for coloring in open spaces.
To save you a little time plowing through the thousands of adult coloring books online, here are a few of my favorites. Each of these senior-friendly coloring books are easy to color while offering some challenge but not going to cause frustration.
This coloring book is on the simpler side as far as its designs. But, seniors will love this coloring book because of the nostalgia it will bring. Many elders and seniors love to talk about the past. A coloring book like this will bring back memories and create a great opportunity to share stories with family and friends.
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This large print coloring book for seniors is one of my favorites. The designs range from quite simple to more complex. But, all the spaces are large and open with lots of room for creativity. Most seniors could color these pictures without much difficulty. 77 pages.
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For those who believe in the power of mandalas or enjoy a little more complex pattern. This coloring book for seniors is full of large print manadala coloring pages. Some are easy but some get quite difficult. 82 pages.
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This one is part of a larger Coloring Book for Seniors series. Other books in the series feature ocean scenes, floral patterns and animal patterns. The designs in this coloring book are large but more complex than the other books. This one is recommended for seniors with good hand dexterity and decent eye sight. 84 pages.
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Seniors and elders can greatly benefit from the simple act of coloring. It improves mood, socialization, and maybe even health. Considering the physical limitations of elders is important. Large print coloring books for seniors overcome some of these limitations.
Do you have any experience with large print coloring books or using coloring with seniors? Please share your experience and recommendation in the comments below!