Gel Pens: Coloring For All Ages

Gel pens are one of the best inventions in the writing utensil world. They are bright and fun to use. But do you know their history?

Gel pens were first created in Japan in the early 1980’s. They were invented by the Sakura Color Products Corporation and are a type of ballpoint pen. But ballpoint pens have been around since the 1880’s. So what makes a gel pen different?

The ink. Because it isn’t ink. Instead, gel pens use a water-based gel to achieve their unique colors and patented glide.

Regardless of where they come from or how they are made, gel pens are fun for all ages. They brighten up a work or school assignment. And best of all:

They can be used for coloring.

I know what you are thinking. Coloring? How old do you think I am?

Gel Pens And Coloring: A Match Made In Heaven

Hear me out. Coloring is a therapeutic and harmless pastime enjoyed by everyone from those just old enough to grip a crayon in their fist up to the savviest of adults. And though coloring for adults has recently made a comeback, the art of coloring has been around since the 1880’s, just like the ballpoint pen.

The first coloring book was called The Little Folks’ Painting Book and was released by the McLoughlin Brothers. Since that time, thousands of children’s and adult coloring books have been created.

(And before we go any further, get your mind out of the gutter. An adult coloring book just refers to one with more difficult pictures to color, not….other things.)

Nothing beats the satisfaction of gripping a colored pencil, marker, or gel pen in your hand and watching as color slowly fills the page.

As far as coloring utensils go, everyone has their preference. But nothing can beat the gel pen. For one thing, it never needs to be sharpened like a colored pencil, and its tip doesn’t dull over time like a marker’s does. Gel pens also come in neon, metallic, and sparkly options.

And who doesn’t love the satisfying way a gel pen slides across the page, leaving a trail of bright color behind?

Proven Benefits Of Coloring - Really!

In addition to just being fun, coloring actually does have several benefits:

● Fine motor skills: there is a reason that your first image when someone says “coloring” is probably a kindergartner or first-grader gripping a crayon with their tongue between their teeth as they try to stay in the lines. Coloring is a fun way for children to work on fine motor skills while also expressing their individuality in the colors they choose.

● De-stressing: this one is more for this adults. (Don’t knock ‘til you’ve tried it.) Sitting down with an adult coloring book and spending some time on it has been proven to be relaxing.

Case in point, check out this interesting information from

“Coloring has been shown to have stress-reducing benefits. The reason? Coloring is said to calm the amygdala, the part of the brain related to the fear/stress response while stimulating the parts of the brain responsible for creativity and logic. A 2005 study documented a reduction in anxiety in subjects after a short time of coloring geometric patterns.”

● Improving focus and helping with sleep. Again from WellnessMama:

In fact, coloring therapy is being used experimentally for those with anxiety and stress related disorders. Some people report sleeping better when coloring for even 5 minutes before bedtime.”

The Bottom Line

Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. It can be just as satisfying for adults. And coloring with gel pens will bring back all those nostalgic moments from high school when you wrote your notes in as many different colors as possible. Have fun!