The Children’s Book Review | July 28, 2011
Rain, hail or shine, summer, winter, fall or spring, activity books are fantastic boredom busters. They also make wonderful birthday gifts that are budget savvy. From doodles to stickers to making your own animation movies, this list of activity books showcases some of our favorites. We’ve also included a great resource for parents that is all about building your child’s self-esteem through reading, crafting and cooking.
By Victoria Kann
Reading level: Ages 3-12
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: HarperFestival (May 31, 2011)
Publisher’s synopsis: Get Ready to Think Outside the Lines!
Drawing and coloring is doodlicious!
Over 100 pages of pinkatastic pictures for you to complete.
- Includes coloring, drawing, and activities to inspire creativity
- Perfect for Pinkalicious fans of all ages
Add this book to your collection: Pinkalicious: Pinkadoodles
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Inc. (May 1, 2009)
Publisher’s synopsis: This is a doodle book, a journal, and a scrap book – the perfect buy for any child going away on summer vacation! Includes more than 50 vacation-themed doodles to complete, it doesn’t require any drawing skills, just a little bit of imagination!
More doodles and activities include:
* Design your own sandcastle.
* Draw your vacation home.
* How much money are you spending?
* Which was your favorite day on vacation?
* What is dad cooking on the campfire?
* Design a flag for your family.
* Fill the beach with seashells.
* Draw the twists and turns of a rollercoaster.
Add this book to your collection: Vacation Doodle Book
Junie B.’s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain!
By Barbara Park (Author), Denise Brunkus (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 6-9
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2011)
Publisher’s synopsis: Dear People Who Are Puzzled . . .
Ha! That was a little puzzle joke by me! JUNIE B. JONES! On account of this is my very own PUZZLE BOOK! And it is full of games and puzzles about me, me, me . . . for Y-O-U! I am excellent at games and puzzles. But some of these are stumpers, I tell you! And stumpers make my brain explode (kaboom!). This book has: * mazes (starring me!) * connect-the-dots * triangle puzzles * tangles * secret codes * coloring activities *creative-writing activities * word games * and YAY! . . . . even STICKERS!!!!! And so quick! Grab a pencil and start puzzling yourself! Have fun!
Your friend, Junie B., Puzzler
Add this book to your collection: Junie B.’s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain!
Dinosaurs on the Move: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble
By Cathy Diez-Luckie
Reading level: Ages 6-12
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Figures In Motion; 1st edition (April 15, 2010)
Publisher’s synopsis: Educators and parents introduce the wonder of natural history and inspire a love of paleontology (ages 6-12) with this creative learning tool, featuring easy-to-assemble dinosaurs in pre-colored and colorable versions. Now children can make movable dinosaur action figures! Move their jaws, clash their teeth, make their powerful legs run, as children act out their own dinosaur battles. Includes Allosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, plus dinosaur facts for hours of creative play.
Add this book to your collection: Dinosaurs on the Move: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble
Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble
By Cathy Diez-Luckie
Reading level: Ages 6-12
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Figures In Motion; 1st Edition edition (February 24, 2009)
Publisher’s synopsis: Make Your Own Action Figures From Ancient History! Make history come alive in Ancient Egypt, Greece, China, Rome, and Jerusalem! Cut-and-color or pre-coloered action figures really move ans you play out the lives of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, King David, Jesus, Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, Hannibal (and his elephant!) and other – or make up your own stories about these powerful men whose fame has lasted for thousands of years. Yes, they really move! Move their arms and legs, use their swords and shields, and act out their stories at home or at school – over and over again. History has never been so much fun! Emperors! Conquerors! Philosophers! These 20 people shaped history – and our world today. Yes, you can also read about their amazing lives, right in this book. Attention Teachers and Parents: use this book to reinforce the wonder of history and to support any ancient history curriculum through hands-on activities. Note: Your child will need a hole punch and inexpensive fasteners (available at stationary or craft stores-please see resources page).
Add this book to your collection: Famous Figures of Ancient Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble
Sticker Design Studio: Create Your Own Custom Stickers
By Karen Phillips
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Spiral-bound: 54 pages
Publisher: Klutz; Spi edition (January 1, 2011)
Publisher’s synopsis: Girls stick stickers on everything: binders, birthday cards, diaries, door signs, love notes, lunch bags whatever needs a little coolification. It’s like putting your personal mark on the world. But to make your mark truly personal, stick with Sticker Design Studio. The book is packed with over 500 cute die-cut designs you mix, match, color, and layer to create your own unique stickers. Glittery accents provide that all-important sparkle, while light gray linework gives just the right amount of artistic help. Once they are inked over, the lines become nearly invisible so only your creative genius shows. Since each design can be completed in countless ways, each finished sticker can be completely unique. In addition to ready-to-color stickers, the book features colorful pages of tips, inspiration, and guided creativity to encourage the artistically un-gifted. Even if you can’t draw a heart, you can still ink one in your own unique style. And when you’re done, it’s not just a doodle in a page, it’s a one-of-a-kind sparkly seal. Your heart is sticker art!
Add this book to your collection: Sticker Design Studio: Create Your Own Custom Stickers
By Kaitlyn Nichols
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Klutz; Spi Har/to edition (September 15, 2011)
Publisher’s synopsis: Stamp Art makes stamping simpler – and more creative – than ever. Stick the included shapes on the see-through acrylic block to create your own one-of-a-kind stamp design. Full of inspirational artwork and instruction, this stamp-right-in-it book shows how to create animals, flowers, houses, aliens… anything you can dream up.
Add this book to your collection: Stamp Art (Klutz)
The Klutz Book of Animation: Make Your Own Stop Motion Movies
By Nicholas Berger (Author), John Cassiday (Editor)
Reading level: Ages 9 and up
Hardcover: 72 pages
Publisher: Klutz; Spi edition (March 15, 2010)
Publisher’s synopsis: Welcome to the wide-open world of animation. It used to take an empire the size of the Magic Kingdom to make an animated film. And to get viewers, you’d need access to cineplexes or television networks. In other words, you were either in the industry or in the audience. That was then. Today, creating animation for a potential audience of 600 million requires a laptop, a camera, and an internet connection. That’s it. The barriers have come down, the people have taken over, and the results are amazing. The Klutz Book of Animation is a complete how-to treatment of this newly accessible art form. It combines practical instruction and ready-to-shoot scripts. Real-life samples of all the projects are viewable online the perfect marriage of book and web. Speaking of web, the software you’ll need is available as a free download. It’s plug and play on any computer (PC or Mac). Attached to the book is a piece of low-tech, non-toxic clay, ready to be molded into a million different heroes starring in a million different films all of them animatedly yours.
Add this book to your collection: The Klutz Book of Animation: Make Your Own Stop Motion Movies
Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking
By Vivian Kirkfield
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.; 1ST edition (2010)
Publisher’s synopsis: This reality-based program provides fun-filled educational activities that parents and children will enjoy. “Using this book with children will not only help build their self-esteem, it’ll also turn them into life-long readers and lovers of books! I wish SHOW ME HOW! had existed when my own children were young.”—Suzanne Williams, author of over 27 children’s books. “A wonderful resource for people who care about their children and hope to better their reading and learning experience”—Norman Bridwell, author of Clifford the Big Red Dog. With keen insight and proven experience, Ms. Kirkfield empowers parents with simple and effective strategies to help their children develop a positive self-image. Chapter One, “I CAN DO IT MYSELF”, focuses on mastering tasks and skills. Chapter Four, “I AM REALLY MAD RIGHT NOW!”, shows how important it is to be able to express our feelings. This book is the answer to a busy parent’s prayer. With the turn of every page, you will build self-esteem, develop pre-reading skills and create a life-long parent-child bond.
Add this book to your collection: Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking
Thank you so much, Bianca, for including Show Me How! in your post about activity books for children.and books that will have reluctant readers begging for more! I’m happy to say the book is now on Kindle as well to make it available at a much lower price:: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005DCCMRY
Your list will be so helpful for parents and teachers!
You’re welcome, Vivian.
Bianca, Thank you for including Famous Figures of Ancient Times and Dinosaurs on the Move in Awesome Kids’ Activity Books! We now have two new books in our history series (May 2011): Famous Figures of the American Revolution and Famous Figures of Medieval Times. Your readers can learn more about them at our website at http://www.FiguresInMotion.com.
You’re welcome, Cathy. Thanks for sharing the link to your latest editions.
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