For most little kids, apps just can’t compete with a good old-fashioned activity book — no matter how flashy and musical they are. Preschoolers enjoy choosing colors, grasping pencils, selecting stickers and completing an entire activity book on their own. Here are a few of my kids' favorites that have provided lots of fun activities and a great sense of achievement.
These paint-by-sticker books by Workman Publishing are a godsend and totally captivating (even a couple of my adult friends have been sucked in by them). It’s essentially paint-by-number, but instead of paint, you use stickers instead. There are so many cool themes to try: Under the Sea, Beautiful Bugs, Outer Space, Unicorns and Magic, to name but a few. Once my kid completes a book, we take out the pages, stick it all together and hang up their giant masterpiece.
This colorful book is full of brain games and logic puzzles that get kids thinking. They can learn about sequencing, patterns, critical thinking and more. It’s a great one for independent work, and each page has a parent prompt to encourage kids to learn a little more about each activity.
If your little one is a budding artist and wants to learn how to draw, this book is for you! Using simple step-by-step techniques, kids can learn how to draw boats, dinos, butterflies and more.
My little girl has tried many sticker books, but the ones she treasures most are these beautiful dress-up books by Usborne. These enchanting sticker books come in different themes featuring ballerinas, mermaids, fairies and more. Each set of characters comes with a set of ornate costume stickers. Once all the stickers have been placed, the book serves as a sweet story book.
This cute little book is full of mazes, matching and counting games, shape-sorting activities, etc. This one is great for travel, as it’s relatively small.
Books about learning to write are all pretty similar, but this one stands out for a couple of reasons. As well as tracing the letters, there is space for kids to practice their letter freehand and complete a simple word. At the end of the book, there is also a nice colorful certificate of completion for your kid to write their name on and hang up on the wall.
Activity Lab publishers have lots of great activity books for little learners. My kids particularly like this coloring and activity book all about space. The book features drawings of planets, astronauts, spaceships, aliens, meteors and more. It will keep your kids busy with coloring pages, mazes, puzzles, word searches, copy the picture and coloring by number.
Scissor skills are good to develop before starting school. Get a head start with this excellent book from Melissa & Doug. It has 20 activity pages and comes with a cute pair of child-safe scissors.
This bumper-sized book is a bargain and has tons of bright and engaging activities to help kids learn about numbers, colors and shapes. There is plenty of variety, so this should keep them occupied for a very long time.
If your kid is starting kindergarten, this is a great activity book to boost their confidence before they start. Once each activity is completed your kid gets to color in a star in the book to keep track of their progress and keep them motivated. The activities include numbers and counting games, letter and reading games, early math activities and more.
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