Coloring Pictures - Elderly Activities that are Easy and Fun

Coloring Pictures - Elderly Activities that are Easy and Fun

It's probably not stretching the bounds of imagination to recall the time when we spent our Saturdays coloring in our favorite coloring books. Whether you were into Superman, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Beetle Bailey, Alley Oop or Little Orphan Annie, many of us have spent hours upon hours coloring, laughing, sharing and enjoying the companionship of friends and family while we colored away in happy delight. Who says we have to give up coloring just because we're older?

Coloring provides an enjoyable activity for seniors, if only most of us could get past the stigma of doing so in our senior years.

Benefits of Coloring Pictures

You may not have thought much about it, but coloring promotes fond memories and recognition in the brain, and may help promote enhanced joint health and flexibility. Choosing a picture, colors, and picking up and holding and maneuvering a crayon are excellent exercises that promote mobility and connectivity between the brain and fine motor movement.

Coloring Pictures with Example of forms to color

Coloring also stimulates the senses. When was the last time you picked up and smelled a box of crayons? If you take the time to do so, you'll likely receive a pleasant flood of scents that associates the sense of smell produced by crayons to pleasant childhood memories.

How many of us would like to escape the daily stresses and strains of care giving or a sedentary lifestyle caused by medical conditions to enjoy the sense of freedom and pleasure such simple activities like coloring pictures brought us in our youth. Unfortunately, most of us are afraid to do so - afraid to be laughed at or criticized.

We highly recommend these Coloring Books for your Elderly Parents

Garden Flowers Coloring Book by Stefan Bernath

Another Grown Up's Coloring Book by Gladys Scanlon

Coloring of various sizes may provide endless hours of socialization, reminiscing, laughter and pleasure, not only in home-based care environments, but also in environments such as nursing homes. You don't have to color the most simplistic picture, but choose those that will challenge the brain to select color schemes, patterns, and designs that challenge fine motor movement and detail.

One of the greatest benefits of coloring pictures is the opportunity to socialize with others. Contact with peers who may also remember and reminisce about their youth provide seniors with individuals who enjoyed the same likes, memories of musicians, movies, and activities that many caregivers are unable to provide.

Coloring Leads to Bigger and Better Activities

Coloring is a first step for bigger and better activities. Individuals recovering from a stroke may find coloring a stimulating challenge to retrain muscles and fine motor movement. For those who have retained cognitive and physical abilities, simple coloring and picture design may provide the first step toward creating additional arts and crafts.

For example, coloring simple patterns may help seniors decide how to design knitting, crocheting, or quilting projects. For others, coloring simple patterns may lead to activities and hobbies such as creating stained glass, jewelry and other activities that appeal to seniors.

Coloring Pictures of outlines of cats to fill in with color

Coloring and doodling invoke the creative side of the brain, helping seniors maintain cognitive and sensory development and maintenance. Even individuals diagnosed with forms of dementia may benefit from coloring activities. For example, place crayons in the basic primary color scheme (red, blue, and green, yellow, and orange) and ask Mom or Dad to choose the red crayon to fill in a portion of the coloring page. Go on from there.

Of course, that's only one suggestion, but coloring serves as excellent art therapy for seniors whether they're at home or in a long-term care nursing facility. Maintaining the dignity of seniors is important regardless of scenario, so make sure you approach the topic of coloring in a dignified manner.

Seniors are often willing to help others, so suggest that grandma or grandpa help a young grandchild or visiting youngster to choose colors and to help color in pages. This activity also helps to bridge the generation gap, especially in situations where seniors are living with adult children and their families.


Coloring pictures is not just for kids. Coloring helps to develop coordination skills, expression of ideas, and enhances the neural pathways between the brain and the fingertips.

We highly recommend these Coloring Books for your Elderly Parents

Garden Flowers Coloring Book by Stefan Bernath

Another Grown Up's Coloring Book by Gladys Scanlon

Coloring is an excellent activity to help retrain a brain damaged by stroke or dementia, offering a variety of shapes and colors to provide stimulation.

If you feel self-conscious about suggesting coloring for Mom or Dad, why not join in? Bring home a coloring book and a box of crayons for each of you, which will surely encourage smiles, companionship, and a wonderful sense of nostalgia.

Easy Crafts for Elderly Parents

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