Tag Archives: activity books for kids

10 awesome activity books + giveaway

In anticipation of warmer weather and time off from school, I give you 10 awesome activity books for a variety of ages.


Art Play by Marion Deuchars. This is an incredible resource for artists 7 and up to play and learn and make art. Exploration is the name of the game.

(I’ve featured Deuchars before, with a Bob the Artist craft!)



DIY ABC by Eleonora Marton. This is for the younger set—so much DIY and drawing fun while exploring the alphabet.








Bigger, also by Eleonora Marton. A super inventive foldout poster kind of book that’s also a ruler. It’s totally hands on and encourages guessing and measuring all kinds of stuff. You kind of have to see this one to understand it—but it’s great!







Me: A Compendium from Wee Society. This is a visual diary that inspires thinking, drawing, and recording.



Journal Sparks by Emily Neuburger. Emily has such a knack for bringing art and ideas to life for kids. This book is no different. It’s full of activities for noticing, for creating, for contemplating.


(Emily stopped by last summer to make potato prints with another activity book!)







Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers by Andrea Beaty, illustrations by David Roberts. A perfect companion to Rosie Revere Engineer or on its own (it reprints the story of Rosie at the start). It’s a journal, sketchbook, and manual for designing and engineering projects while helping kids persevere.







Who What Where? by Olivier Tallec. This one is mind-bendingly brilliant and great for practicing observation skills.





Read All About It by Alice Bowsher. This one’s really unusual: a pamphlet that gives you everything you need to write and design your own newspaper pages! Plus, stickers. What fun (and perfect for budding journalists).








The Lost House by B.B. Cronin. A sophisticated seek and find book with electric colors on every spread.










Eric Carle Animal Masks. 15 animal masks to punch out and put on—yes!










I’m giving away three of these activity books! Read All About It, Bigger, and Rosie Revere’s Big Project Book for Bold Engineers (pictured below) are all going to one lucky winer. Simply leave a comment below to be entered to win. (North America only; ends midnight PST Saturday, June 3rd.)






You might also like my post from a couple of years ago on 15 Fabulously Interactive Books for Kids.

a pair of super cool glow in the dark books



There is something truly magical about holding a glowing book in a dark space. I imagine blanket forts as perfect habitats for glow-in-the-dark books. (Just remember, they must be charged by a lamp or flashlight first in order for their magic to work!)


Dream Recipes by ISOL (English edition, 2012).

The Spanish edition is NOCTURNO: Recetario de sueños.



This book demonstrates the true creative genius that is ISOL. She sets it up to be used, literally, as a way to guide dreams right before bed. You can pick a different page each night—charge it up, turn out the lights, and then see what appears and how it influences your dreams!



This is a truly original book and nothing else exists that’s quite like it. Dream Journal. Book of discovery. Science project.



From “The distracted fisherman Dream” to “The Dream of being another” to “The Dream of the Dead Singer,” each has ISOL’s signature style.




The very last page is blank (but covered in glow in the dark) for you to draw your own dream and see if it visits you!






The Game in the Dark by Hervé Tullet (2012).


This one is much simpler and would be great for very young readers. Tullet is another creative genius for kids and here he plays with glowing spacey shapes.






While simple they are still wonderful to behold.






This gif from Babouches says it all! Wow!




seek and find picture books


These two are perfect summer activity books. Imagine the hours that could be spent combing each for all the details. All the stories and characters and subplots.  They’re like Where’s Waldo but with intricate stories to follow and discover. (I’m super jealous of anyone who can enjoy these while riding in a car. They are well-suited for those not afflicted with motion sickness during road trips.)


The Bear’s Sea Escape by Benjamin Chaud (2014), follow up to The Bear’s Song (2011).



 click image(s) to enlarge

We follow a papa bear searching for his baby bear as we look for him too. All the way from the opera house of the first installment through the cold streets to a cruise ship that sails to a tropical island.




The search is the fun of the book, spotting big bear and little bear in every spread, wanting so badly for them to find one other like we’ve found them!


Chaud’s lavish illustrations are outrageously delightful throughout. And you can almost hear what’s going on in every spread: the hustle and bustle, the music. Always, the music.


 Thanks to Chronicle Books for images!

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 4.59.35 PM

Welcome To Mamoko by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński (2013).

In Mamoko, we’re introduced to a few kooky characters on the first page. Then, we follow one or two or all of those creatures on a wordless adventure.


You can pick an animal and basically discover a different story on every read through! My favorite character might be the cow in red heels, but it’s a tough call. I do love a romantic roller-skater!




Images via Big Picture Press.


This video will show you how it’s done:


I hope you know some kids who can have fun with these activity/story books this summer. And if you and yours are able to read them in a moving vehicle, then I super salute you!


I received a review copy of The Bear’s Sea Escape; opinions are my own.