Best Coloring Games for Kids Reviewed in 2018

Coloring is an activity that all kids love from the time that they’re babies. Why kids love to color goes far beyond color preferences.  First and foremost, all kids have the instinctual desire for self-expression. Second, kids enjoy displaying their skills and receiving praise from others, especially parents and teachers. That’s why kids love giving us their school work and projects to hang up on the refrigerator. However, a child’s speaking and writing skills are not as advanced as those of an adult. Coloring is the ultimate form of non-verbal self expression, which can tell us so much about what our kids are thinking and feeling. Expression through color may continue into the teen years and beyond for children with learning disabilities.

Children who have suffered abuse or struggle with depression and other mental illnesses also find it easier to express themselves through art, especially when the message involves painful or traumatic situations.  Even many adults find themselves better communicators through coloring and other artistic processes.

In short, we can all agree that coloring games are beneficial to our kids.  But with so many choices out there, it’s hard to know which games are right for your child’s educational needs and personal preferences.  Many games target a few specific skills, which can be limiting for very active and imaginative children.  On the other hand, a wide selection of games, activities and playing options can be overwhelming for children with special education needs.  Then again, kids who are entering into preschool and kindergarten need a wide selection of activities that target the skills they’ll be learning in school. Finding the right game is even more difficult when you have children of multiple ages and skill levels, who all have to share one device.

That’s why we’ve assembled a list of 20 kids coloring games that cover a gamut of skills, activities and playing styles.  No matter what age or cognitive level your child is at, you’ll be sure to find a number of great games for developing critical cognitive and social skills.  Best of all, these games are fun, interactive and age-appropriate for their target age groups.

Last Updated: July 10, 2018
By Mirisaj:

This page has been updated to include the most up-to-date products on the market of kids coloring games in 2018. We have updated various content throughout this page to enhance readership.

Our Top 3 Picks

The Adventures of Evie and Ozzy
  • The Adventures of Evie and Ozzy
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Paint & Jigsaw Puzzels
  • Price: See Here
Dinosaur Coloring Book for Kids
  • Dinosaur Coloring Book for Kids
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Drawing & Painting
  • Price: See Here
Fashion Girl Makeover
  • Fashion Girl Makeover
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Spa, Make Up & Dress Up
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Coloring Games for Children

Targeted Skills

Our main goal was to provide you with color games that are fun and educational at the same time.  The level of education a game should provide is dependent on its target age group, so targeted skills can range from basic color and shape recognition to reading comprehension and problem solving.  We also look at a game’s impact on social development, especially from games with storylines like The Adventures of Evie and Ozzy and Peter Pan.

One thing we want to stress is that educational skills are taught in many different ways. Some games clearly target specific core curriculum and social development skills.  Games like Fraggle Rock Game Day, for example, are quite clear in the promotion of serious social issues like personal identity and resolving social conflicts.  But other games, like Fashion Girl Makeover, work on skills development in more subtle ways.  While clothing and makeup choices may not seem educational, these games do help kids develop an eye for detail.  They also promote understanding of complimentary colors and patterns, which can influence their understanding of math and architecture.

Functionality

A kids color game needs to have user friendly features and smooth playability.  These are the two most important features of functionality that we considered in making our choices.

Kid-friendly features include basic play options like touch and drag, or unlimited redos for game levels.  In addition, games should not have complicated menu or navigation options that can confuse and frustrate kids.
As for playability, no game is flawless or immune to bugs and glitches.  Certain games are so detailed and action packed that occasional crashing or freezing is inevitable.  However, these glitches tend to happen when the wifi connection is weak, or the battery is low.

Thus, we recommend playing near a strong wifi connection, and limiting play time to no more than an hour at any time in order to prolong battery life. In searching for smooth playing experiences, we considered the overall number of issues, customer complaints, and most important — the company’s response to those issues.  The companies on our list regularly communicate with their customers, and send regular updates to improve how the game looks, feels and plays.
Range of Activities

Let’s face it, color games are meant to entertain as well as educate.  For most kids, the entertainment factor comes from a wide selection of color options and related activities.  Advanced toddlers and older kids also need a variety of mini games and activities in order to stay engaged.

However, a wide range of activities is not beneficial for every child.  That can actually be overwhelming and frustrating depending on their cognitive and social abilities.  Some kids find it easier to focus on one or two tasks at a time, which they can do at their own pace, as many times as they need. That’s why we chose a variety of games for both types of children, although games for older kids will generally have many activities in order to target grade-specific skills.  What’s important is that a game fits your child’s unique needs and preferences.  Just because a game targets preschoolers, or only has basic coloring options doesn’t mean it’s inappropriate for your kindergartener if he or she is still struggling with preschool skills.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a good age to introduce my child to coloring games?

A: Most coloring games are aimed at 2 to 5 year olds, but it really depends on your toddler’s skill level.  For example, kids begin to develop hand-eye coordination between 12 to 15 months.  By 18 months, most kids are able to stack two blocks together, and engage in tasks like nesting, gathering and placing one object inside another.  At this point, they may be ready for very simple color match and shape games, but whether they’re ready for tablets and mobile devices is another issue.  In order to ensure their safety, supervise them at all times and limit playing time to no more than half an hour.

Q: How many hours a day should I let my kids play these games?

A: Doctors generally recommend limiting game time to half an hour per sitting for kids under 5. Kids 5 and older should not be playing video games for more than an hour at a time. There are several reasons behind these recommendations. First, too much screen time results in eye strain.  Second, sitting too long causes kids to become inactive and may even lead to cardiovascular problems like the ones we see in adults. Equally alarming are the studies that show children who play several hours of video games per day are more prone to conduct problems and peer conflicts.

Q: Will video games impair my child’s social skills?

A: This is a huge concern for parents, even with educational games like the ones on our list.  The truth is, gaming has positive and negative effects depending on the usage.  An hour of gaming with a sibling or friend can actually build and enhance social skills.  On the other hand, sitting with the tablet hour after hour by yourself can indeed impair a child’s social skills.  What’s important is to set definite limits on the types of games they play and how long they play them.

Q: Which of these games are best for working on cognitive skills?

A: All the games on our list develop and enhance cognitive skills such as memory, focus, organization and pattern recognition.  Some of the games, such as Toddler Animals and Fraggle Rock Game Day target more advanced levels that are ideal for children who are about to enter preschool and kindergarten.  However, even coloring games for the youngest children involve cognitive skills like thinking and hand-eye coordination.

Q: Can coloring games help with learning disabilities?

A: Because drawing and coloring involve basic motor skills, coloring games can be beneficial for children with learning disabilities. Coloring can also be soothing and therapeutic, while providing an outlet for children who have issues with verbal communication.  However, it’s important to understand that activities like coloring are tools that should be used in conjunction with scientifically approved learning methods and medical treatments.  We recommend consulting with medical and education professionals to determine which coloring games are suitable for your child’s specific needs.

Q: Are the paid apps worth the money?

A: With the myriad of free games out there, parents frequently wonder if it’s worth paying for an app.  Most of the coloring games on our list are free, and they offer plenty of things to keep your kids amused.  However, the paid apps do have some unique features and upgrades that can provide a more user-friendly experience.  Another benefit to paid apps is the availability of more activities, game pieces and playing options.  It should be noted that many of the free games offer in-app purchases, so the option to upgrade is generally available. That’s why many parents try the free apps first, then make in app purchases, or upgrade to the full versions if their children need more of a challenge.

Sources

  1. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  2. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  3. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  4. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  5. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  6. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  7. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,
  8. House Staff, Every Pixar Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best, Online Magazine Article,