When was the last time you grabbed a box of crayons, opened a coloring book, and let your imagination run wild? These days, there are endless options for coloring books that provide adults with a fun way to explore their creativity. Filled with everything from animals to intricate patterns to pop-culture references, these books have become a revelation and also important relaxation tools. Some really mean it when they call themselves—ahem—“adult,” but many are suitable for all ages, making them excellent activities for parents and their kids, classrooms, or parties. Or, grab a beverage of choices, pick out your favorite set of markers or crayons, and use these books to fill some quality, stress-free, alone time.
Intricate and challenging drawings. Amazon
Explore the highly-detailed, intricate, and often delicate drawings in this coloring book that helped launch the adult-coloring book craze. As you make your way through the 96 pages, keep an eye out for tiny, hidden creatures—a key in the back can help you out if you don’t find them all. The latest edition of The Secret Garden is printed on heavy-stock paper to help prevent bleed-through. It’s perfect if markers are your medium of choice. Even the book’s cover and jacket can be colored.
Revisit childhood cartoons. Amazon
Here’s your chance to color some of your favorite childhood cartoons, like Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Hey Arnold! The book is available in both spiral-bound and paperback editions, and with 96 pages of characters, designs, and memories, it’s fun for adults and kids alike.
Low-key, simple drawings. Amazon
Fifty-two pages of animals drinking, because who doesn’t love that? They’re all drawn in an irreverent and fun style, but without too much fussy detail. They’re perfect for beginner colorists looking for an easy, low-stress way to have a little fun.
Pattern-filled wildlife. Amazon
As the title suggests, this 203-page tome features 100 animals to color. Whether full-body or close-up, each is made up of tightly detailed, imaginative patterns that provide an opportunity to explore different creative paths. The results can border on realistic, or get downright trippy—it depends where your muse takes you. The pages are single-sided, so removing and framing your favorites is a cinch.