Colouring books are the ultimate failsafe, screen-free entertainment for kids of all ages. Whether you’re looking for something to keep children busy during the long school summer holiday, an easy activity to pull out on a rainy day or simply a way to occupy the kids while you’re trying to cook dinner, a colouring book will never let you down.
The books offer so many amazing benefits to children, helping boost everything from fine motor skills and concentration to creativity and patience – not to mention the pride they feel when showing off their finished masterpieces.
When choosing one though, it’s worth considering a few things first. Whatever you buy needs to be age-appropriate – simple designs may not hold an older child’s attention for long – and the theme engaging.
Paper quality and design are also important if you want a colouring book that will last longer than one play session, and stand up to the test of some ferocious scribbling by younger children.
How we tested
Our three, six and nine-year-old testers channelled their inner Picasso to put a huge range of colouring books to the test. We looked at value for money, the illustrations (they had to have proper kid-appeal) and whether they came with any extras like stickers or fun facts. Essentially, the ones that made the cut are the colouring books our little testers returned to again and again.
These are the best kids’ colouring books for 2022:
- Best overall – The Jam Tart the animal alphabet: £6, Thejamtart.co.uk
- Best for younger children – Orchard Toys farmyard sticker colouring book: £3, Orchardtoys.com
- Best for creativity – Rock & Pebble the teddy bear colouring book: £18, Sorenshouse.co.uk
- Best for older chilren – Usborne colour your own dinosaurs: £4.99, Usborne.com
- Best colouring subscription – Kids’ Colouring Adventure Box: £22, Kidscolouringadventurebox.co.uk
- Best for on the go – Wonderous Animals colouring book: £3.95, Blackandwhitebookproject.com
- Best for interactive play – Hobbycraft colour-in cardboard ice cream van: £18, Hobbycraft.co.uk
- Best bumper colouring book – Prestel the art colouring book: £9.24, Blackwells.co.uk
- Best budget buy – Hobbycraft mermaid colouring book: £2, Hobbycraft.co.uk
- Best for nature lovers – The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Nature Sticker and Colouring Book: £5.99, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
- Best for siblings – Olli Ella playpa ocean paper roll: £15, Kidly.co.uk