Make Playtime Fun with the Best Coloring Activity Sets for Kids

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Playtime for kids is an opportunity to learn, grow imagination, and have fun. As parents, we want toys that provide enjoyment as well as enrichment. Coloring activity sets check both boxes! With a wide range of products available, how do you choose which sets will best engage your kids while supporting their development?

In this blog, we take the guesswork out of selecting the ideal coloring set for your child. First, we share our picks for the top 5 coloring activity sets on the market right now. Next, we provide helpful guidance on what to look for when evaluating sets to determine the best fit. Finally, we answer frequently asked questions for parents about the benefits of coloring toys and using activity sets for open-ended playtime experiences. Let’s dive in!

Top 5 Coloring Activity Sets

A quick search online and stroll down toy aisles makes it clear – the options are endless when it comes to kids coloring activity sets! While choice is nice, it can definitely feel overwhelming. We reviewed lots of excellent products to select our top 5 tried and true sets that will provide hours of enjoyment:

1. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag – 150 Pieces

For ages 1-5, this big bucket of classic Mega Bloks is the ideal starter set. The 150 chunky blocks in primary colors are easy for little hands to grip, stack, and build. Designed to develop coordination and problem-solving skills, kids can follow their imagination to see what they can construct. With no wrong configurations, it also helps build confidence in creation. Since Mega Bloks fit with other sets, kids can add to the fun later on.

2. Melissa & Doug Water Wow! – Animals

Offering reusable coloring pages, this mess-free set allows creativity to shine. It includes 3 coloring pads featuring animals, each with 8 designs that magically change color when wet! The refillable water pen writes in red, blue, or black. As kids trace and reveal the images, it improves focus and hand-eye coordination. With 24 pages total, there’s lots of potential for screen-free fun. The non-toxic ink also gives parents peace of mind.

3. Crayola Scribble Scrubbie Animlas Tub Set

For bathroom-friendly creative play, this tub set has 3 animal-shaped scented bath crayons – panda, lion and elephant! The crayons easily grip in little hands to draw on the 4 reusable pages that stick to the tub wall. The pages can be colored again and again for more animal adventures. It’s designed for ages 3+ and provides an engaging screen-free activity. Plus, kids will enjoy the light, sweet scents!

4. Alex Toys Artist Studio Set

The 142-piece art set comes packed in a handy carrying case, providing everything needed to draw, color, paint and get creative. It includes crayons, washable markers, craft paper, stickers, stencils, modeling clay, and more! With so many options, kids ages 3+ will stay occupied as they make masterpieces, develop skills, and play. Easy to tote for travel or trips, it makes art time possible anywhere.

5. Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad – Habitats

Fuel imagination with this themed sticker set focused on habitats! It has over 150 reusable, peel-and-stick stickers to create forest, ocean, desert, and other habitat scenes. Kids can stick and re-stick stickers on the 8 backgrounds over and over. As they build stories and landscapes, it builds creativity. The stickers are thick and sticky enough to adhere well. A screen-free, mess-free activity kids 3+ will love!

With unique benefits for development and lots of fun in store, any of these 5 excellent sets will please kids while parents feel good about playtime. But how do you choose between great options to find the best one for your child? Keep reading for factors to consider when selecting an activity set.

How to Choose a Coloring Activity Set

From art materials to open-ended building sets, educational toys to sensory play, there is an overwhelming array of coloring activity sets available for kids. Here are top things to consider as you evaluate options to determine which set is right for your child:

Age of Child

Developmental stage and age recommendations are key. What’s suitable for a 2-year-old differs greatly from sets geared towards 6-year-olds in terms of detail, dexterity required, and complexity. For example, chunkier crayons suit little hands better while older kids need more variety to stay powerfully engaged.

Types of Activities

Think about your child’s particular interests as you consider activity sets. For example, if your child loves animals, an art set with animal stencils or animal-shaped bath crayons may get more play than a generic one. Sets that align with their passions will best hold their attention for learning through play.

Number of Pieces

More variety means more ways to foster imagination and build skills. Look for art sets with enough crayons, craft supplies and materials for lots of options and combinations. Building sets should contain numerous blocks or pieces that can be configured in multiple ways.

Reusable or Single-Use

Reusable, wipe-clean sets allow for more play time and less waste. Water play pads and tub crayons can be used over and over, unlike pages that fill up with standard coloring. Sticker pads also run out once all stickers are used. When possible, choose repeat play options.

Mess Factor

While all kids get messy sometimes, certain activities like paints tend to create more chaos. Contained, reusable sets or washable items are best for younger kids who are prone to spills and messes. Building blocks generally have little clean-up. Save materials like paint, glitter and glue for when kids are a bit older and coordination improves.


Always ensure any set meets toy safety regulations and standards. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended age guidelines closely, as these indicate what is safe and appropriate for children at each stage. Reference alerts and advisories regarding toy safety as well.


If you plan to use the activity set on-the-go for travel, waiting at appointments, restaurants or other outings, portability is key. Choose compact sets that pack neatly into bags and storage cases for convenience. If solely for home use, larger sets with more pieces can still suit your needs.

Add-On Potential

Some products like classic building blocks have sets to add on for more variety in structures down the road. This can extend your investment. Art supplies and craft kits often stand alone but may allow purchasing more of certain pieces like paper or crayons.


Will pieces get scattered around, lost in toy boxes and under furniture? Look for sets that come with storage containers, Ziploc bags, reusable packaging or other ways to organize all the parts for easy access. Tidy storage between playtime makes it simple to set up again.

Long-Lasting Play

Toys that support free-form creativity and imagination often provide the most play time versus sets with planned outcomes. The more ways kids can engage with pieces, the longer it will hold their interest. Building and creative art sets allow this open-ended play.


Seek out activity sets designed to build fine motor control, creativity, focus, problem-solving, coordination and other positive skills through hands-on play. Look for ways the play experience helps development. Building sets also build STEM abilities as children engineer structures.

Screen-Free Play

Coloring, drawing, building, and pretend play sets all encourage beneficial hands-on fun away from TV, tablets, and phones. This screen-free play stimulates young minds through tactile engagement and sparking imagination.

By factoring in all these aspects as you evaluate and select coloring activity sets, you can feel confident in providing toys that are developmental, engaging, and tailored specifically to your child. But what if you’re still unsure exactly how these activity sets benefit kids? Read on for commonly asked questions and answers related to play value.

FAQs About Coloring Activity Sets

For parents seeking quality toys that provide enough playtime and engagement for kids to build skills, coloring activity sets check lots of boxes. But questions may still come up. Here we cover some frequently asked questions about activity sets:

How do coloring activity sets benefit kids?

The range of developmental benefits provided by hands-on activity play sets is immense. Fine motor control improves through art, coordination through building. Creativity and imagination grow with activities like pretend play. Problem-solving skills develop as kids determine how to use set pieces. Concentration and focus increase as they engage in play. Sets provide enrichment beyond just having fun.

What age are activity sets suitable for?

Most coloring activity sets provide a recommended age range which should always be followed for safety and to ensure the set aligns with the child’s abilities. Many sets list ages 3 and up as appropriate, but look for chunkier crayons, bigger components, and less complex activities for younger kids. Read age guidelines closely.

Should I get an all-in-one set or individual pieces?

All-in-one variety sets guarantee you have all the bases covered by providing an array of engaging materials for open-ended play and learning. This ensures endless combinations for playtime. Buying individual art supplies can certainly be affordable, but you may accidentally overlook complementary items.

How much supervision do kids need with activity sets?

Sets that pose choking hazards or use materials requiring more coordination like paint obviously need greater supervision, especially for kids under 4. However, the right set will allow a child 3+ to semi-independently create, build, and play as it sparks imagination and engages them. Occasional supervision is still recommended for all ages to monitor proper use.

Should I limit my child’s coloring/building time?

Unstructured playtime with activity sets provides important developmental and emotional benefits that parents shouldn’t curtail too much. As long as kids remain happily engaged in play and are Getting joy from the toys, there’s no need to arbitrarily limit activity time. Aim for 1-2 hours of play daily, breaking up longer sessions with outdoor time or snacks to reset.

Are coloring sets and activity toys just for girls?

Absolutely not! While some sets use gendered packaging and marketing depicting only girls, in reality any child can enjoy activity toys for learning and fun. Make sure both boys and girls have access to a variety of toys, including dolls, blocks, puzzles, arts supplies, and more. Let them choose materials aligned with their own interests.

Which type of set is the least messy?

Reusable, self-contained sets limit messes the most. Water Wow! pads with their refillable water pen allow coloring without paint spills or stray crayon marks. Building blocks have barely any cleanup. Craft kits involving paint, glue, glitter and other loose parts tend to create the most mess (but also lots of fun!) so are better suited for older kids.

What supplies should be in a basic art set?

To cover all the basics, a starter art set should contain crayons, colored pencils, washable markers in an array of hues, child-safe scissors, glue stick, and an assortment of paper – both white and colored. Paints, stickers, stencils, modeling clay, and an art smock make great extra additions for more creativity.

Can I combine pieces from multiple sets together?

Often you can mix and match pieces from different kits, activity sets, and art supplies you already own to create fresh options. Just ensure all materials are non-toxic and safe for kids before combining. The varied colors, textures, and activities will spark new imaginative play.

We hope these tips help determine which coloring activity set is right for your child and how it will benefit their development!

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, coloring activity sets provide engaging, screen-free play experiences with immense value for young kids. Following age guidelines and factoring in their interests, coordination level, and your supervision capacity helps parents choose suitable sets. All-in-one variety kits guarantee you have all the bases covered while individual art supplies allow room to customize.

Whichever route you choose, coloring activity toys promote creativity, fine motor skills, focus, problem-solving and imagination in kids through self-directed play. By stepping back and letting children freely engage with sets that align with their developmental needs, parents can feel great knowing their child is gaining skills while enjoying plenty of fun with playtime!

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