There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh box of crayons to give us all the feels. The distinct scent makes us nostalgic for one of our earliest academic activities: coloring. Even before we could read, we learned our numbers and colors, often with the help of color-by-number books. Today there are a myriad of color-by-number book options that span all kinds of subjects and interests. And little kids aren’t the only ones who are drawn to these activity books. Teens and adults also enjoy coloring by number as a way to relax and relieve stress. So grab your favorite box of colored pencils or crayons and check out the list below!
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Color by Number Books for Preschool and Early Elementary School Kids
1. Color by Numbers for Kids Ages 4-8: Dinosaur, Sea Life, Animals, Butterfly, and Much More! by Jennifer L. Trace
With three tiered difficulty levels, this book has something for everyone regardless of ability. Level one uses three to four colors, level two four to five colors, and level three uses five or more colors. Little artists will need a big box of crayons since they will sometimes need different shades of the same color.
Buy it: Color by Numbers for Kids Ages 4-8 at Amazon
2. On the Go Color by Numbers by Melissa & Doug
This travel-sized activity book gives kids something to do at restaurants, on a plane, or even in the car. In addition to the 12 design boards, this book includes six markers stored right in the cover so kids won’t misplace them. In a fun twist on other color-by-number books, kids will love watching the numbers magically disappear once colored over.
Buy it: On the Go Color by Numbers at Amazon
3. My Backyard Color by Number by Maggie Swanson
Familiar backyard scenes pepper this sweet color-by-number book that will surely capture little artists’ imaginations. Be sure kids check the simple key at the bottom of each page before coloring.
Buy it: My Backyard Color by Number at Amazon
4. The Color by Number Book for Girls by Modern Kid Press
With a simple color key and limited colors per illustration, this book will certainly appeal to even the littlest artists. Despite its title, it is a perfect fit for any kid who loves mermaids, unicorns, princesses, and sweet treats. With over 50 pages, there will always be something to color whenever caregivers need a quiet moment.
Buy it: The Color by Number Book for Girls at Amazon
5. My First Color by Number by Blue Wave Press
With simple illustrations and limited numbers and colors, this book is perfect for the littlest learners. In addition to working on color and number recognition, kids will also get practice following simple directions. Each page is single-sided so the finished product can easily be displayed.
Buy it: My First Color by Number at Amazon
6. The Ultimate Color by Numbers: Activity Coloring Book for Kids: Adding and Subtracting, by Brainy Tiger
This book is packed with learning opportunities as kids will have to complete a simple math equation before coloring the pages. Kids will have fun coloring the dragons, mermaids, unicorns, and other mythical creatures while practicing their addition and subtractions skills. Unlike traditional coloring books, the pages are very thick, allowing kids to use markers or even paint.
Buy it: The Ultimate Color by Numbers … Adding and Subtracting at Amazon
7. Dinosaurs Color by Number for Kids by Zoey Bird
If you know a dinosaur-obsessed kid, then this book is sure to be a hit. Time-travel back to the Jurassic period with 50 different pages ranging from easy to medium difficulty. Not only will kids brush up on their numbers and colors, they will also learn the names of dinosaurs as they are printed on the top of each page.
Buy it: Dinosaurs Color by Number for Kids at Amazon
8. Vehicles Color by Number by M. Power
Little ones will love the variety of trucks, tractors, planes, boats, and even blimps in this color-by-number book. The illustrations and corresponding color palettes will prove challenging but not intimidating for preschool and elementary school children.
Buy it: Vehicles Color by Number at Amazon
Color by Number Books for Upper Elementary and Middle School Kids
9. Color by Number: Coloring Book for Kids Ages 8-12 by RK Color Cafe
The limited color palette is easy to work with but the somewhat detailed illustrations will provide just enough of a challenge for slightly older kids. With over 50 designs of wildlife and mythical creatures, this book will be sure to keep kids entertained for hours.
Buy it: Color by Number: Coloring Book for Kids Ages 8-12 at Amazon
10. Marvel Superheroes Color by Number by Roswitha Peters
Know a kid who loves superheroes and also loves coloring? Then this is the book for them. Loaded with Marvel’s beloved characters including Captain America, Iron Man, and Spiderman, superheroes of all ages can pick their favorite medium to complete their masterpiece. Since no one likes a mess, each design is printed on a single page to prevent bleed-through, and a color key can be found on the backside of each page.
Buy it: Marvel Superheroes Color by Number at Amazon
11. Stained Glass Nautical Designs Color by Number by Sachin Sachdeva
Each spread contains a color key with 21 colors on one page and a nautical-themed illustration on the other. This book will appeal to older children and teens with a penchant for sailing thanks to the semi-detailed pages.
Buy it: Stained Glass Nautical Designs Color by Number at Amazon
12. Color by Numbers for Kids Ages 8-12: Fun and Creative Coloring Activity Book for Kids by Jennifer L. Trace
Both educating and entertaining, this color-by-number title challenges kids as they progress through the book. It has activity pages with increasing difficulty from easy to hard, as well as bonus challenges. It even includes a certificate to complete at the end to recognize kids’ accomplishment.
Buy it: Color by Numbers for Kids Ages 8-12 on Amazon
Color by Number Books for Teens and Adults
13. Color by Number Mystery Mosaics: Book 1 by Mindware
This book is not for the faint of heart since these mosaics will require painstaking precision and patience. You will want to have a good collection of colors too because each sheet requires a large variety of hues. Each page has a color key that shows which color corresponds to which number, and each square in the mosaic contains a number. Older kids will undoubtedly feel a sense of accomplishment when finishing a mosaic!
Buy it: Color by Number Mystery Mosaics: Book 1 at Amazon
14. Creative Haven Around the World Color by Number by George Toufexis
This color-by-number book contains detailed scenes from around the globe that will certainly delight travel-hungry teens as well as adults. The inside covers feature thumbnail images in full color so users can choose to duplicate them or create their own. Images are detailed so users will likely want the precision afforded to them by colored pencils.
Buy it: Creative Haven Around the World Color by Number at Amazon
15. Color Quest Colossal: Extreme Color-by-Number Pictures to Reveal by Daniela Geremia, illustrated by Joanna Webster and John Woodcock
This detailed book will prove particularly challenging even for those experienced with color-by-number books. Each page is a mystery that slowly reveals itself once colored. The perforated pages allow artists to frame their finished works.
Buy it: Color Quest Colossal: Color-by-Number Pictures to Reveal at Amazon
Looking for more books for kids? Check out 17 Drawing Books for Kids To Inspire Young Artists.
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