Best Android Coloring App

Every parent knows how it feels to have left the kids happily coloring in the sitting room, only to return a few moments later and find they’ve splashed ink and paint over every soft furnishing in sight!

Every parent knows the stress involved in packing a hundred different crayons into a backpack before going on a long journey, only for the bag to split open at the first stop sign and pencils to scatter all over the car!

Every parent knows the expense incurred through buying paper and pens and rubbers and stencils, only for them to be lost or broken within minutes of being opened. Every parent knows that coloring is as risky, messy and complicated as any extreme sport!

And yet... Coloring is a wonderful way to teach kids focus and precision, and can be a very mindful exercise. It is no surprise that adult coloring books have become so popular in recent years considering the amount of tranquility and enjoyment they can bring.

Children need calming activities just as much as they need wild and energetic ones, and a few minutes of concentrated coloring can be an excellent way to settle them down before bed or if they are feeling anxious.

Yes it’s messy and inconvenient, but as activities go, coloring is quiet, creative, and helps to develop good motor skills and mental wellness… So what are parents to do?

This is where coloring apps come in.

Coloring apps are a great way to keep your kids entertained and engaged wherever and whenever you may be. Due to mobile technology, your kids can access coloring tools and resources at the click of a button, and can tidy them away just as easily!

This means no more messy car seats and paint-splodged couches, and no more flimsy sheets of paper flying away in the slightest breeze or felt-tips drying out in the sunshine. No. Thanks to coloring apps, kids can get creative without causing extra work for you.

Whether you have a long plane-journey ahead, or are trapped on a rainy camping trip, these apps will provide plenty of easy and enriching diversion. We have put together a list of the best coloring apps for android phones so that you can get a good idea of what is available and download your favorites!

OUR TOP PICK

Color By Numbers is a great first coloring app as it is simple and easy to navigate even if you haven’t used a coloring app before. It is suitable for kids from as young as 4 and has a wide ability range, so will keep older kids entertained too.

The app involves coloring individual squares, almost like pixels, until a larger picture is revealed. The squares are numbered, and it is very satisfying to watch the artwork emerge slowly before your eyes.

What is particularly cool is that you can upload images from your smartphone gallery and let your kids color over them. The app has a huge library of its own images as well, so there is plenty of variety in terms of skill level and subject matter.

Once complete, the colored pictures can even be uploaded to social media accounts, so you will be able to share any works that you are particularly proud of. Color By Numbers is simple, stress-relieving and satisfying, and makes a great starter app for beginners.

Pros:

  • Simple pixel art - tap small squares to color a large picture
  • Upload images from own gallery
  • Vast library of pictures to choose from
  • Share finished artwork on social media

Cons:

  • Not suitable for adults
  • In-app purchases can be annoying

EDITORS CHOICE

Although advertised as an adult coloring app, Recolor is actually suitable for all ages due to its vast picture library.

With over 5000 different options to choose from, there are plenty of simple pictures that are perfect for kids, yet as they grow in confidence they can level up to some more adventurous outlines.

The app offers 4 new images for free each day, so your kids will always have something new to try, and there are hundreds of beautiful colors and great tools on the app that allow them to create some really lovely work.

Work can be shared in the Recolor community online, which will give youngsters a real sense of pride and achievement. The only downside to this app is that the ads and in-app purchases can become distracting, so you may be tempted to buy a subscription just to get rid of them.

This app is a Google play store editor’s choice, and it is no surprise that millions of people have already downloaded it.

Pros:

  • Over 5000 unique pictures to choose from
  • Hundreds of different colors and tools 
  • Can share work with the Recolor community online
  • Suitable for kids and adults alike

Cons:

  • Ads can be distracting

BEST VALUE

This next app is aimed at youngsters and has lots of educational value. It has over 190 unique and fun images for your child to choose from, and all the images are arranged in themed categories such as animals, flowers, fruits etc.

The designers of this app have really kept kids in mind, and have minimized the number of small, intricate sections in these pictures, which many toddlers find frustrating to color. Instead, this app offers lots of large areas that are easy for little fingers to click on.

They also offer a range of bright, vibrant colors to choose from, but not so many as to confuse things.

Whilst coloring numbers, your child will be learning to recognize numerics and even count, and the same goes with learning to recognize and name animals and other fun plants and objects.

There are ads and in-app purchases available if you want to unlock more pictures, but your child will have plenty to get on with just from the free library.

Pros:

  • Very simple pictures especially aimed at toddlers
  • No frustrating intricate sections
  • Over 190 images to choose from
  • Images arranged in handy categories with educational emphasis

Cons:

  • Not suitable for older children
  • Ads and in-app purchases will pop up

RUNNER UP

This next app is aimed at youngsters and has lots of educational value. It has over 190 unique and fun images for your child to choose from, and all the images are arranged in themed categories such as animals, flowers, fruits etc.

The designers of this app have really kept kids in mind, and have minimized the number of small, intricate sections in these pictures, which many toddlers find frustrating to color.

Instead, this app offers lots of large areas that are easy for little fingers to click on. They also offer a range of bright, vibrant colors to choose from, but not so many as to confuse things.

Whilst coloring numbers, your child will be learning to recognize numerics and even count, and the same goes with learning to recognize and name animals and other fun plants and objects.

There are ads and in-app purchases available if you want to unlock more pictures, but your child will have plenty to get on with just from the free library.

Pros:

  • Very simple pictures especially aimed at toddlers
  • No frustrating intricate sections
  • Over 190 images to choose from
  • Images arranged in handy categories with educational emphasis

Cons:

  • Not suitable for older children
  • Ads and in-app purchases will pop up

RUNNER UP

Kids Doodle is a very popular app, so if you are after something that is tried and tested then this is for you! The app allows kids to draw and paint amazing original designs using really cool colors and tools.

There are over 24 awesome brushes to choose from, including a rainbow brush, a neon brush, glow, sketchy and crayon.

The effects that these tools create is brilliant, especially when on a blackboard background, but the app also allows you to upload photos and images to color over, so there really is lots of room for creativity.

This app also has an inbuilt gallery where your kids' pictures are stored. They can revisit old masterpieces if they want to finish them or alter them, and they can also use the brilliant Movie function to animate their pictures and bring them to life!

Children absolutely love seeing their artwork transformed into a short film, and they will love sharing their work via social media even more! For innovation and uniqueness, Kids Doodle is a winner!

Pros:

  • Kids create their own drawings and paintings from scratch
  • Amazing range of tools and paints in unique colors
  • Redo / Undo ability
  • Inbuilt gallery to store all the masterpieces
  • Movie Mode - to animate drawings!

Cons:

  • This app contains ads

RUNNER UP

For something extremely ‘kid safe’, this app is perfect. It offers over 250 different pictures for your child to choose from, and all the pictures are arranged in handy categories for ease and clarity.

The categories are educational and fun, and more can be unlocked by making in-app purchases. It is suitable for kids between the ages of 2 and 8, which makes it a great option if you have multiple children of different ages as they will all get enjoyment out of it.

There are a range of coloring games, like color by numbers and color matching, that help hone counting and perception skills as well as being entertaining. This app offers a great range of subject matter, from dinosaurs to unicorns, so there really is something for every child whatever they’re interested in.

It also has some pretty cool functions like glitter and sparkle effects which make any art work a hundred times more appealing to kids! 

Pros:

  • Over 250 pictures for kids to color
  • Coloring games to help with learning and development
  • Cool tools like sparkle and glitter effects
  • No annoying ads!

Cons:

  • In-app purchases can be irritating

RUNNER UP

If your child likes Disney films then they will absolutely love this amazing Disney coloring app. They will be able to choose from a huge library of their favorite characters, from Mickey Mouse to Elsa, and even the cast of Cars!

Whatever your child is into, be it princesses, action heroes or villains, they will be able to color them on this app using the great array of paints and tools that it provides.

There are glitter brushes, pattern brushes and magic brushes that reveal the whole picture, as well crayons and pencils of varying thicknesses to accommodate increasing levels of detail.

What makes this app extra special is that once completely, the colored characters turn into stickers that can be played with in magical 3D worlds. This will provide hours of fun and really get your child’s imagination fired up.

What’s more, with every page that your child completes, they receive rewards in the form of more characters to color. This is great for creating positive reinforcement and affirming their success. 

Pros:

  • Great array of favorite Disney characters to color
  • Very cool brushes and effects available
  • 3D worlds where completed characters can play
  • Rewards for completing each page

Cons:

  • Some people have trouble downloading this app
  • Requires subscription

RUNNER UP

For something incredibly relaxing that will destress your child, this Happy Color app by X Flow is a brilliant option.

Although it doesn’t exercise many complex motor skills, or even require very much creativity, it really is calming to tap on the individual sections of each picture and watch the colored image take shape before your eyes.

Adults and children will love this app, and there is a marvellous range of images to choose from so all age groups and interests are satisfied. It includes Marvel, Disney and Warner Brothers characters, as well as original artworks by professional designers.

This app is great if your child struggles with quiet time, or suffers from anxiety. Though they may not receive many educational benefits from this app, the emotional benefits are plentiful. 

Pros:

  • Very methodical, and soothing activity
  • Great range of pictures to choose from
  • Popular Marvel, Disney and Warner Bros characters available
  • Very Simple and easy to use

Cons:

  • Not much creativity or individuality possible
  • Less educational value than other coloring apps
  • Ads and in-app purchases will pop up

RUNNER UP

Baby Coloring Games is a great app for kids aged 2 to 6 years old. It has a simple interface that they can easily understand and navigate, and a range of over 80 coloring pages for them to choose from.

The coloring pages come with animation and gentle music, which will really keep your child entertained and engaged.

The images are divided into nine themed categories, and the app is playable offline, so even if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere you will be able to keep the kids busy with this one!

A great feature of this app is the Toddler Mode which prevents little thumbs from accidentally pressing buttons on the phone or tablet whilst trying to color. This is incredibly helpful and stops you having to reset the page for them.

The app also prevents your child from seeing any ads whatsoever, and prevents them from accidentally making in-app purchases without your permission. It is very well designed and thought-through and is a great coloring choice for first timers.

Pros:

  • No wi-fi necessary
  • Simple interface with lots of fun pictures to color
  • Toddler Mode to prevent accidental button pushing
  • Ensures no ads pop up in front of children

RUNNER UP

And finally, this coloring app by Bini Bambini doesn’t just offer a great range of pictures and paints to choose from, but there are also tutorials and drawing guides to help improve your child’s art skills and knowledge.

This app really has it all - parental controls so that you limit what your child can access, fun animation and sound effects that will bring their drawings to life, and a range of games to keep them entertained and amused.

The only negative is that this app has ads and in-app purchases that can be distracting.

Pros:

  • Drawing tutorials to improve art skills
  • Tracing and painting games for fun and diversion
  • Parental controls

Cons:

  • Ads and in-app purchases can cause problems

Best Android Coloring App Buying Guide

Educational Value

It is always good to consider a coloring apps’ educational value before letting your kids get too attached to it.

Lots of coloring games will help improve their counting, recognition and memory skills, as well as their motor skills and creativity. However, paint by number apps are less interactive and usually have less educational benefits.

Picture Library

The best coloring apps offer a wide variety of pictures to choose from and update their picture libraries regularly so that there are always new options available.

It is good to consider what type of things your child likes and pick an app according to their individual tastes. It is also advisable to find an app that offers a range of difficulty levels, so your child can progress through them as they improve.

Ads and In-App Purchases

Adverts can be a real distraction in these apps, and can take much of the mindful, relaxation away. In-app purchases can be equally frustrating as your child will inevitably want to unlock more options if given the choice.

Therefore, it is often preferable to pay for an app than get a free download but be plagued by pop-ups. It is also advisable to look for apps with parental controls, so that you can limit what your child can click on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of color by number apps?

Whilst color by number apps don’t have some of the educational and creative elements that general coloring apps offer, they are incredibly relaxing and have emotional benefits that can really help anxious or hyper-active kids to feel settled and calm.

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