September 14th

National Coloring Day -

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National Coloring Day, celebrated annually on September 14th, is a day dedicated to recognizing and enjoying the simple yet profound activity of coloring. This day invites individuals of all ages to pick up their colored pencils, markers, or crayons and let their creativity flow onto paper. Coloring has transcended its reputation as a children’s pastime and has become a popular, therapeutic form of relaxation for adults as well, with a wide range of intricate coloring books designed specifically to de-stress and promote mindfulness.

Far from being just an artistic endeavor, coloring offers multiple benefits; it improves focus, helps to cultivate a sense of inner peace, and can be a social activity that connects people through shared artistic projects.

History of National Coloring Day

The practice of coloring, which many associate with the joys of childhood, has long been recognized as a developmental tool, helping young ones cultivate their motor skills and imaginative capabilities. The latter part of the 19th century saw the emergence of coloring books designed for children’s entertainment and education. It wasn’t until the arrival of the twenty-first century that the concept of coloring would expand significantly to include the adult population.

Adults discovered or perhaps rediscovered, the joys and therapeutic qualities of coloring right around 2012. With stress-relief and escapism from the digital world as selling points, adult coloring books swiftly climbed bestseller lists. As this form of pastime received broader attention, the need for a day dedicated to it became apparent.

Thus, National Coloring Day came into existence as a means to honor this timeless activity, encouraging individuals not just to pick up coloring books and supplies but to remember the serenity and satisfaction that comes from coloring within—or outside—the lines.

Educational spaces, book retailers, and neighborhood centers have been known to commemorate this day by hosting coloring sessions and inviting people to indulge in this shared experience. Meanwhile, digital platforms amplify the day’s presence. Users eagerly parade their masterpieces online, bonded by hashtagged phrases and forging a community in cyberspace over their shared affinity for the craft.

National Coloring Day Timeline

Earliest Known Cave Paintings

Use of natural pigments for cave paintings such as those found in Maltravieso cave, Cáceres, Spain.

Egyptian Use of Colors

The ancient Egyptians began using colors for their hieroglyphics and tomb decorations, utilizing minerals to create various pigments.

Chinese Invention of Ink

The earliest known inks were created by the Chinese using natural plant dyes and animal and mineral inks.

European Middle Ages - Illuminated Manuscripts

Use of vivid colors in illuminated manuscripts, with monks and artisans making their own pigments and inks from plants and minerals.

Synthetic Dye Revolution

William Henry Perkin, an English chemist, discovered the first synthetic purple dye named mauveine, marking the beginning of synthetic dyes' revolution for coloring.

Crayola Crayons

Binney & Smith Company produced the first box of Crayola crayons, making coloring widely accessible to children and sparking a coloring craze.

Adult Coloring Books Surge

A growing trend in adult coloring books as a means of relaxation and creative expression becomes popularized around the world.

Ideas to Celebrate National Coloring Day

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Community Coloring Event

Host a community gathering at a local park or community center where people of all ages can come together to color. Provide large-scale coloring murals and individual coloring books, along with a variety of coloring supplies. Encourage participants to hang their finished pieces around the venue for a pop-up gallery of colorful art.

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Coloring Contest

Organize a coloring contest with categories for different age groups and skill levels. Participants can either download a specific page to color from a website or pick one up from a local business. Offer prizes for the most creative, the most vibrant, and the most precise coloring. The winners could be featured in a local exhibition or online gallery.

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Coloring Book Exchange

Start a coloring book exchange in your neighborhood or office. People can bring in coloring books they no longer use and swap them for others. This is a great way to refresh your coloring possibilities without the need to purchase new books, and it promotes recycling and sharing within the community.

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Coloring Therapy Session

Host a coloring therapy session at a local studio, where participants can enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of coloring. Have an art therapist guide attendees through relaxation techniques and provide insights into choosing colors that reflect their mood or help to counteract stress and anxiety.

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Educational Coloring Workshop

Run a workshop for children at schools or libraries, where they can learn about colors, color theory, and the history of coloring and art. Incorporate interactive coloring activities and provide coloring pages that are both fun and educational, featuring historical figures, scientific concepts, or world cultures.

7 Interesting Facts About Coloring


Coloring's Relaxing Effect

Coloring has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in adults, similar to meditation. This is because it allows the brain to switch off from other thoughts and focus only on the moment, helping to alleviate free-floating anxiety.


Origins of the Modern Coloring Book

The first popular coloring book, 'The Little Folks' Painting Book,' was published in the 1880s by the McLoughlin Brothers. However, it was designed with the intention that children would paint the images rather than color them with crayons.


Crayola's Crayon Dominance

Crayola produces nearly 3 billion crayons each year, an average of 12 million daily. That's enough crayons to circle the globe 6 times with color! They became a household name by becoming synonymous with coloring for children worldwide.


Therapeutic Uses of Coloring

Art therapists often use coloring as a part of therapy. By focusing on color, design, and pattern, individuals can deal with complex emotions, traumatic experiences, or just explore their inner world in a non-verbal way.


The Secret Language of Color

Researchers have discovered that different colors can affect moods, feelings, and behaviors. For example, blue is often seen as calming, red can elicit feelings of excitement or intensity, and yellow is associated with happiness and energy.


Adult Coloring Books

While coloring is traditionally seen as a children's activity, there has been a surge in adult coloring books over the last decade. Publishers have tapped into the market with complex patterns and designs like mandalas and landscapes that cater to grown-up tastes.


Psychological Effects of Coloring Mandalas

According to one study, coloring a mandala can be especially beneficial for reducing anxiety and promoting mindfulness as its geometric symmetry requires concentration and can lead to a meditative-like state.

National Coloring Day FAQs

Next National Coloring Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 September 14th Thursday
2024 September 14th Saturday
2025 September 14th Sunday
2026 September 14th Monday
2027 September 14th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every September 14th

National Coloring Day Word Search

  • Coloring
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Palette
  • Artwork
  • Canvas