What you need

  1. Colouring Books - Relish Colouring Books if possible -  Radiant Nature or Everyday Joys
    Download resource
  2. Colouring pencils
  3. Tray to lean on, if necessary


Colouring is a therapeutic activity that encourages creativity, relaxation and mindfulness for somebody living with dementia. It’s also all the rage right now!

Relish have designed 2 colouring books that bring to life, images of nature and daily life,  through meaningful, age-appropriate illustrations and prompts to help residents colour each image on their own.

Colouring is a great one-to-one activity, when you have five minutes spare. But it’s also excellent as a group. Wile away afternoons together with colouring pencils in hand, and use the interesting facts on the pages to guide a discussion.
There are many other books that you can source, but make sure the pictures are clear and not too busy  

The Activity

  1. All you need is a quiet and clear space, preferably at a table with a plain tablecloth or background, so the image to colour can be easily seen
  2. Let the person choose the colouring book they like best from a selection, and pick an image they’d like to colour in
  3. Leave the page open in front of them and put a selection of colouring pencils around it, so the colours can be seen and chosen easily
  4. Encourage them to colour the image independently
  5. Help them decide where to begin and discuss which colour pencil they would like to use
  6. If they’re struggling to decide where to start or which colour to use, offer some support and say that they can start anywhere on the page or point to a place to start. Suggest a few colours that might be good and limit the choice – too much choice could be making this decision difficult. You can also suggest using the sample image to help them decide
  7. Why not encourage them to try hatching or cross-hatching on the larger areas for a different effect? You’ll find techniques inside the Relish Colouring Books
  8. Once they’ve finished, ask a few questions to encourage conversations about the image. Try asking questions about the theme of the image to trigger memories

PDF Resource