Since we’ve been spending a lot more time at home, we’ve had a lot more time for quiet afternoons with kid activity books. After our kids finish up their family economy lists, they love pulling out activity books to do at the craft area. They’re perfect quiet kids indoor activities!
Still, there are a lot of really terrible activity books out there. While I’m supportive of any sort of creative activity that quietly engages my kids, I think the best kid activity books include a bit of learning along the way. (So much better than coloring in one of those random character coloring books from the dollar section.) Each of these kid activity books is not only super engaging and fun, but also helps spark learning and curiosity.
If you’ve been searching for some new indoor activities for kids, here are 20 of our favorite educational kid activity books that have been total winners in our home. I hope your kids love them, too!
Table of Contents
Math & Science Kid Activity Books
Our 7 year old recently got this in her Easter basket and she’s been a giant fan. It’s a mixture of fun little activities and some reading and learning. It has everything from coloring to experiments to connect-the-dots. I’m considering getting more copies for my other kids (especially since it’s also a terrific price!) – it’s one of the best kids activity books on this list.
Here’s a terrific anatomy coloring book for older kids!
I love that this kids activity book uses readily available materials to teach important concepts. The projects are not overly complicated, but they do teach kids critical lessons as they put the projects together. It also has a brief history blurb at the beginning of projects, as well as a STEAM explanation at the end, along with some extension activities. It’s perfect for kids who love to tinker and one of my favorite educational books for kids.
We also love the 100+ Awesome Science Experiments for Kids and the Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids books!
This book tends to get mixed reviews because it’s a) reading intensive and b) quite challenging. It’s not straightforward math – it requires deciphering a decent bit of text. But if you have a kiddo who thrives on combining math & reading, I think they’d enjoy this activity book as much as we have.
Nature Kid Activity Books
This kid activity book is basically a nature journal 2.0 in the best possible way. The projects are simple enough that they feel doable, but not so simple that you’d automatically do them on your own. It provides fantastic guidance for exactly what science should be at a young age: observing, questioning, and recording. It’s one of the very best kids activity books!
If you have younger kiddos, this book is perfect for the preschool set. A lot of preschool activity books just focus on numbers and writing letters, so I love that this one appeals to exactly what many preschoolers love!
It has the same sort of setup and information as the above book, but is geared exactly toward a younger crowd, with simple illustrations and basic but engaging and thorough explanations. It’s great as a field guide, nature journal, or just to sit and look at during quiet time! This is a great one if you’re looking for activity books for 4 year olds or activity books for 5 year olds.
While this book says it’s written for girls, it’s absolutely appealing to boys, as well. Filled with tons of outdoor and nature projects, as well as indoor skills, it’s perfect for kids who love projects. I love that these learning activity books provide lots of ideas for adventure!
This Boy’s Book of Adventure is also terrific if your little boy balks at the other title!
Art Kid Activity Books
These paint by sticker books are immensely popular. And while we love the unicorn and sea creatures ones as much as anyone else, we are especially fond of this Masterpieces version. It includes 12 well-known and beautiful works of art for kids to recreate with numbered stickers. It’s a fantastic kid activity book for becoming familiar with some masterworks. If you’d prefer to color by number instead of using stickers, these Mystery Mosaics books are perfect! I love any and all of these fun kids activity books.
If you have some art lovers, here are 10 wonderful art books for kids from around the world!
If you have any Harry Potter fans at your house, this children activity book is sure to be a hit. My little Harry Potter obsessees are VERY into not only doing the origami, but also doing all kinds of pretend play with the creations afterwards. Origami is really great for practicing sequencing and following directions, and hones fine motor skills. This one tends to go in and out of stock, so if you’re interested in it, be sure to grab it while it’s available!
(This is our very favorite version of the Harry Potter books.)
Not all art activity books are created equally, but this one is put together beautifully. It’s filled with images of Monet’s works alongside prompts to create pieces in a similar style, color, or within a similar framework. I love that it doesn’t just tell kids what to do, but asks a multitude of questions to allow them the opportunity to investigate Monet’s works. This one is almost out of stock, so hurry and grab it if you’re interested!
I always like having a couple of art books for toddlers on hand while my older ones are working – this Pantone board book one is so beautiful, and I love this Monet board book to match an older sibling’s activity book!
I love teaching art lessons in my kids’ school classes. I always tell the students that while I love teaching about art, that they shouldn’t be intimidated to DO the art project, as their creations will undoubtedly far outstrip mine. They never believe me – until they see my projects. Let’s just say that crafts aren’t my strong suit.
These learn to draw books are some of the top kids activity books in our home. This book takes you through drawing 101 animals step-by-easy-step. They’re simple enough that even I can manage them – and if I can, I promise you and your child can, too.
Travel & Geography Kid Activity Books
For sheer beauty, this might be one of my favorite kids activity books of all. The colors are so vibrant and fun! The book goes through each of the 50 US states and has maps, word searches, facts and figures, foods, and more.
And if you don’t already own The 50 States book, you absolutely should. It’s a stunning companion to the activity book, and is perfect for exploring from home, road trips, or gifts. (My account just said I’ve purchased it SEVEN times – if that doesn’t tell you how much I love it, I don’t know what will). We also love the 50 States Fun Facts book, or this companion I Spy the 50 States board book is so perfect for younger children!
Also, the same folks just came out with this STUNNING US National Parks book. The copy I ordered just arrived a few days ago and it’s a new favorite addition to our children’s activity books.
Here are 16 other incredible nonfiction books for kids from around the world!
Atlas of Adventures Activity Fun Pack: with a coloring-in book, huge world map wall poster, and 50 stickers
This kids activity book is as beautiful as it is educational and fun. It goes through different continents, and helps kids find and color different things you might find in each place. Such a fun way to virtually travel without leaving home! This Atlas of Animal Adventures book is a perfect companion to read with it.
If you’re looking for more virtual field trip ideas, here is a whole list of travel activities for kids. Or here is a list of 50+ virtual travel ideas for toddlers and preschoolers!
Kid Activity Books About Creativity, Emotions, and Puzzles
I know I sometimes fall in the trap of thinking creativity is innate, but it truly is a skill that can be learned. This book is fantastic for giving prompts to act in creative ways. It also has a variety of activities to promote creative thinking and action. I love that it provides tons of activities that don’t even require any additional materials!
Logic books are always fun to do, and this is a great one for younger kiddos. There are plenty of terrific pre-arithmetic activities, such as sequencing and matching. While it says 4 and up, I’d recommend it for the 4-6 age group.
This Perfectly Logical! activity book for kids is perfect for older children!
This is a fantastic one to keep kids engaged for hours and hours. There is a whole variety of puzzles from crosswords, to I Spy type things, to Sudoku, and much more. It really challenges them in a variety of ways while staying really fun for a variety of ages.
We’ve had various levels of these books for years, and they’ve all been very well put together. I like that they cover a variety of topics so you get diversity of learning right within one book. Seriously the best kids activity book for a variety of subjects.
We’ve included a page or two of these books in our family economy lists before!
Anger Management Skills Workbook for Kids: 40 Awesome Activities to Help Children Calm Down, Cope, and Regain Control
Not all skills are academic, and I love that this workbook intentionally teaches socioemotional ones. Schooling so often overlooks those “soft” skills, so this is a perfect supplement. This children’s activity book is especially useful for kids with a short fuse, but teaches super useful coping mechanisms for any child (or adult).
Fine Motor Skills Kid Activity Books
This is such a fun and useful book for kids who love working with their hands. The illustrations are easy-to-follow and clear, and are perfect for teaching your kiddos some useful life skills. Don’t forget some rope to practice!
This is another terrific, practical kids activity book for younger children! It has lots of fun shapes and animals that are perfect for the toddler and preschool set to work on some scissor and fine motor skills. If you’re on the hunt for activity books for toddlers, this could be good for some who are a bit older and beginning to work on those fine motor skills.
It certainly seems like cursive is becoming a lost art! But it’s a fun activity that is especially nice to learn to understand old documents and letters. It’s relaxing and perfect for quiet time. This easy-to-follow workbook is great!
If you’re looking for a toddler activity book, here’s a great letter tracing one we love.
I hope these activity books for children are helpful for you this summer and beyond!
IF YOU LIKED THIS POST ABOUT KID ACTIVITY BOOKS FOR KIDS INDOOR ACTIVITIES, YOU MIGHT LIKE THESE POSTS TOO:
- 26 Books to Prepare for a Trip to San Francisco
- 65+ Things to Do Outside with Kids at Home
- Global Learning Guides
- 270+ Easy Things to Do in Summer with Kids