Non-cutesy and possibly educational coloring books

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The Steampunk Coloring Book and the Indie Rock Coloring Book.

When I saw The Steampunk Coloring Book online the other day, my heart skipped a beat: how have we not talked about coloring books on this website before?! Coloring, that age-old rite of passage so many children take? We’ve got tips for making your own art supplies, DIYing some possibly ugly crayons, and even an Etsy post featuring a crayon skirt… but no coloring books? Something had to change!

Everyone in my house is a big fan of coloring books that also teach a thing or two — characters are awesome (and trust me, we have our fair share of Lightning McQueen coloring pages, too), but you know what’s even MORE awesome? COLORING THE PARTS OF YOUR BODY:


Start Exploring: Gray’s Anatomy: A Fact-Filled Coloring Book.

The Start Exploring: Gray’s Anatomy: A Fact-Filled Coloring Book is a triple threat win: your kid gets to color, learn, and problem solve. No joke: this coloring book is super detailed, and if you use it as a tool for both education and entertainment, it can last quite a while — well beyond the preschool age.

Wild Animals Coloring Book.

If body parts aren’t your kiddo’s thing, the Wild Animals Coloring Book may be: this coloring treasure contains 47 pictures of animals and captions that describe the habitats where the animals live.

Richard Doyle’s Fairyland Coloring Book.

For those interested in a little more whimsy than mammal, Richard Doyle’s Fairyland Coloring Book is a magical coloring land! Richard Doyle was well known for his illustrations of elves, fairies, and gnomes, and 29 of his watercolor depictions have been adapted for this book.

Mystical Mandala Coloring Book.

The Mystical Mandala Coloring Book is a little trippy, but totally perfect for the more mystically-inclined among us. This coloring book includes 30 designs that kids of all ages will dig — even the 20+ crowd.

Do you guys have coloring books at home? Which are your favorites?

Comments on Non-cutesy and possibly educational coloring books

  1. We’re not quite at prime coloring book age yet in our house, but some I remember from when I was a kid…

    The Anti-Coloring Book

    One of repeating patterns, since I was a little math nerd. It wasn’t this one, but similar:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1938519132/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1938519132&linkCode=as2&tag=offbmama-20

    Oh, and the Dover ones that are “stained glass!”

    (And, more on the Lightning McQueen side, I had a giant 2’x3′ Alf coloring book that I completely cherished.)

    • Totally just found an Alf Astronaut Adventures coloring book right here. I kind of want to get it for him, but the one time I tried to get him into Alf he totally didn’t bite.

    • I luuuuuurve the Anti-Coloring Book. I have had it on my shelf for years waiting for my someday-kids, because I couldn’t pass it up when I found it!! Talk about good for the brain!

  2. I used an awesome anatomy colouring book for my university anatomy courses (not the exact same one in this post, but very similar). It rocked! Yay for educational colouring!

    • He loooooves this one. Dude is super into anatomy/medicine anyway (his current life goals include becoming a plastic surgeon so he can fix skin) so it was a no-brainer for us.

    • Oh yes, I had to color MANY anatomy plates for a class with this book, and I still have it and occasionally reference it! Wish I could have learned architectural history with a coloring book…

      • Yes! I love this coloring book. I teach high school anatomy and I start every unit with the corresponding plates!

        When I volunteered teaching college sex ed, I loved this book The Cunt Coloring Book. Very entertaining for a bunch of college-aged ladies, and great for self-esteem too!

  3. Those Dover coloring books are great (you can find them on amazon) and not very expensive. I got my train-crazy toddler their one about trains, which he was content to look at the pictures approximately 200 times before we even got to the coloring part. I got myself one about medieval tapestries so I have something to color too! We have another one that’s about native plants that my husband and sons look at together to talk about plants in the yard and color.

  4. Dover tied with HearthSong and American Girl as the most anticipated catalogs in my house when I was growing up. I still love their coloring books and paper dolls!

  5. Mindware makes some fantastic colouring books: architecture, illusions, patterns, illuminations, mandalas, transformations. Heavily detailed pages that are great for older kids and adults.

  6. My two favorites are “Girls Are Not Chicks,” and “Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away With the Spoon.”

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