The weather is icky. You are stuck in the house with the kids. Do you:
A. Hide in the bathroom.
B. Let them have unlimited time on the iPad.
C. Allow their boredom to fester until they stop whining and think of something to do.
If you picked A, B or C. Congratulations! You are a parent doing what ever you need to to stay sane.
If you picked A, don't forget the snacks.
If you picked B, save your guilt for another day.
If you picked C, this list of creative activity books for kids will help you get through those hairy days!
(Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Whether your children's interest lies in the science direction, or they prefer arts and crafts, or if playing games has captured their hearts, you will find the perfect book on this list of the best creative activity books.
Art Activity Books
Art Play!: Activities for Preschoolers by Meredith Magee Donnelly. Art Play is full of amazingly creative, developmentally appropriate activities that focus on process art. All of the projects invite children to freely explore art materials in an open-ended fashion and require basic art supplies. Photographic instructions featuring a diverse group of children make the ideas a snap to replicate and unique ideas like spin art blocks and clay self-portraits will delight everyone. Art Play makes the perfect gift for any caregiver or teacher who values nurturing their child’s creativity. Highly recommended!
Cardboard Creations by Barbara Rucci. Got a full recycle bin? You will never have to recycle your Amazon boxes again! Cardboard art projects range from whimsical giant eyewear to calming yarn wraps, to fairy house to inspire pretend play. Who would have thought cardboard could be so inspiring? My favorite aspect of this art activity book is that Rucci focuses on the process–letting your kids explore the satisfying experience of making something from scratch.
Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids: A Silly Book for Creative and Visual Thinking by Jeanette Nyberg. Oh how I love this book. Truth be told, the title should be "for Kids and Grown-Ups" because I have used this book so many times as inspiration for my art journal! This drawing book is such a great boredom buster because kids can play-draw together. There are lots of suggestions for multiple person drawing games, like synchronized drawing. Nyberg also sparks creativity with suggestions for mixed media drawing whimsical prompts.
Creative Adventures in Cursive: Write with glue, string, markers, paint, and icing! by Rachelle Doorley. So many schools are no longer teaching cursive, but this activity book will help you find creative ways to help your kids learn the handwriting skill! Cursive is wonderfully artistiv
Science Activity Books
STEAM Kids. I helped write a book! My co-authors and I have gathered 52 STEAM projects for kids ages 4-10. The book focuses on ideas that can easily be done at home. There are math art ideas, nature studies, technology explorations and more. Magically inventive, wild and wonderful projects with clear instructions and colorful how-to photos. BUY: eBook | Amazon Print |UK/EU customers only: eBook
STEAM Play & Learn: 20 fun step-by-step preschool projects about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math! by Ana Dziengel. I adore the projects in this book, and they are truly for preschoolers. Preschoolers learn best through play but that doesn't mean they can't explore STEAM subjects science, math and engineering! There are 20 projects in all ranging from ideas with little parental involvement to experiments that require more supervision. Best of all, they all have that WOW factor that is oh-so-important to keep preschoolers happy!
The Curious Kid's Science Book: 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8 by Asia Citro. Maybe you think you don't know how to do science projects at home. I mean, aren't they complicated and require lots of specialty items? Well, sometimes, but this book is chock full of ideas that don't require a PhD to do and understand. Plus, the author gives a clear explanation of how to use the scientific method and encourage kids to ask lots of questions as they explore scientific principals in entertaining ways.
The Busy Bag Book by Megan Sheakoski. Busy bags are the perfect solution for antsy preschoolers and early elementary children. Megan takes you through the how-to of setting up a busy bag, plus she gives you tons of ideas for boredom buster bags that also work fine motor skills, promote number sense and increase literacy. Winning all around.
Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities Based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance and Empathy. This book is a collaboration by a group of educators who strongly believe that play is the foundation of learning. For each of 10 picture books focusing on values such as taking care of one another, or how to be a good friend, the authors provide playful activities as a point of entrance into talking about the books' themes.
The Toddler's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1 ½- to 3-Year-Old Busy by Trish Kuffner. This toddler activity book has been a lifesaver for parents (including me!) ever since it was published. Contrary to what Pinterest would have you believe, you don't need elaborate activity ideas to keep toddlers content. There is also a preschool version of the book!
Play with Us: 100 Games from Around the World by Oriol Ripoli. If you love our DIY traditional games, you will get tons of use out of this activity book. Kids will learn how to play games from around the world. Many can be played indoors or outdoors so no matter what kind of weather you are having your children won't be bored!
More activity book ideas:
- The best science project books for preschool
- Puzzle and activity books for kids
- Seek and find books for kids