8 Great Things to Know About Coloring with Seniors

When you think about coloring, your mind probably automatically goes to a child lying on the floor coloring with friends. And the only time you colored as an adult is if you sat down with a child or grandchild and colored with them, right? That’s not the case anymore! 

There are more coloring books for adults now than ever before. 

grandma and grandchild coloring


8 great things to know about coloring with seniors

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  • Coloring is a creative art. Using your creativity provides you choices in color, shading, staying in the lines or extending lines. You have choices of markers, coloring pencils, paints, or crayons. Choices are part of creativity, but choices are not always a part of a senior as he ages. So creativity and choice go hand in hand.
  • Coloring can be an intergenerational activity. Coloring with a child links generations while they talk or just enjoy each others company.
  • Coloring can provide an opportunity for reminiscing. Many coloring books have themes that can connect with the past. There is everything from Norman Rockwell pictures, to Classic Movie Posters to Vintage Christmas Greetings. Pick a favorite coloring book theme and reminisce! 
  • Even though coloring with others can get us to talk and reminisce, coloring can also give us quiet time to ourselves and quiet time while with others. It is a relaxing activity for most people. Picture 10-15 residents seated around the table coloring, all quiet and completely relaxed. I have experienced many moments like that in long-term care. Amazing!
  • Anyone who wishes to color will connect with different pictures. While one person will enjoy flowers, another may love cats, or horses. Finding the right pictures to color is key, and lets us show our individuality.
  • Coloring uses arm and hand muscles and eye-hand coordination. It helps to keep seniors physically, mentally, creatively, and socially active.
  • Coloring is so versatile and can be an independent, one to one, or a group activity. Whether a senior wants to be alone or be with others, the choice is theirs.
  • For those with arthritis or those who have trouble holding onto smaller objects, try large crayons or large markers. Since everyone is different, this may or may not work, but is worth a try if your senior enjoys coloring. Another option is to add soft foam pencil grips to pencils.

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