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National Coloring Book Day

National Coloring Book Day, created by Dover Publications, is "a day to relax and color." It's an occasion to have fun, reduce stress, and spend time coloring with friends or meeting new ones—maybe even by hosting a coloring party. Dover Publications began publishing coloring books in 1970. They started with Antique Automobiles, a book geared towards adults. Coloring books for both adults and children followed. They published interactive coloring books and coloring books combined with puzzles, science, cooking, the alphabet, and more. Their Creative Haven® line for adults debuted in 2012.

Coloring books date to the 1870s when British illustrator Kate Greenaway created The Little Folks' Painting Book. It was marketed to an American audience by the McLoughlin Brothers, a publishing company, which led to its widespread popularity. Coloring books were first a favorite of children, but in recent years have gained ground with adults. Perhaps the first coloring book for adults was The Executive Coloring Book, released in 1961, which satirized corporate culture. Other adult coloring books of the 1960s satirized society, political figures, and politics.

Although adult coloring books had a foothold in the 1960s, and Dover came out with their first adult coloring book in 1970, the modern adult coloring book craze didn't take off until the mid-2010s. One million were sold in 2014, but the number shot up to 12 million the following year. Adult coloring books about politics, political figures, sports figures, and pop culture were prevalent.

For adults, coloring may reduce stress and anxiety, and increase mindfulness, but it might not boost creativity. But, coloring may help children with creativity, although not as much as painting or freehand drawing does. Today, both children and adults celebrate National Coloring Book Day, benefiting from coloring and spending time with others.

How to Observe National Coloring Book Day

Some ways you could spend the day include:

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