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 eyesight or hand control. Large print coloring books for seniors, for example, help elders get the benefits of coloring.
Benefits of Coloring for Seniors
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!
1. Coloring is fun and reduces boredom.
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 and can be a fun and challenging hobby for many seniors.
2. Coloring is a social activity.
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.
3. Coloring exercises hand dexterity and coordination.
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.
4. Coloring is nostalgic and filled with memories.
Coloring brings back simpler times for seniors and triggers memories they haven’t thought about in years. For seniors and elders with dementia, this can be therapeutic as well.
5. Coloring is a creative and self-expressive activity.
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.
What Seniors Need in a Coloring Book
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.
Get the Right Coloring Tools
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.
Twin Tip Colored Pens by AmazaPens | Set of 24 Vibrant Coloring Markers with Fine and Chisel Dual Tips | Bold Water Based Ink | for All Arts, Craft & Coloring Book Projects
$34.87 in stock
Recommended Large Print Coloring Books for Seniors
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 is easy to color while offering some challenge but not going to cause frustration.
The Colorful Past: A 1950's Coloring Book: Everyday objects and people to color in and talk about from the 1950’s!
13 used from $ 6.24
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.
Easy Coloring Book For Adults: An Adult Coloring Book of 40 Basic, Simple and Bold Mandalas for Beginners (Beginners Coloring Books of Adults) (Volume 1)
8 used from $ 4.48
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 mandala coloring pages. Some are easy but some get quite difficult. 82 pages.
Coloring Book For Seniors: Floral Designs Vol 2 (Volume 7)
6 used from $ 8.70
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.
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!