Summer is coming, and the kids are going to need things to do! Are you ready for summer break? Here’s a collection of activity books that will keep kids busy and inspired for hours!
Crafts, games, simple science, LEGO, and more – we’ve got you covered. Depending on the age of your child, adult help may be needed with some of the activities. Each of these books, however, contains plenty of options that kids can carry out on their own by following the instructions. These books are also filled with fun facts and beautiful pictures!
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100 Backyard Activities that are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!
By Colleen Kessler
This book is perfect for spring and summer! Become a scientist and study biology, entomology (insects), herpetology (reptiles), ornithology (birds), botany, and ecology – all in your own backyard or local park.
I love how the activities in this book are very attainable for kids, but they are educational too. This book is not merely nature crafts – it’s real scientific exploration! Create a critter choice container that will allow you to study whether insects prefer wet or dry, light or dark, etc. Learn how snakes regulate their body temperature, sprout beans in a CD case so you can see what’s happening, raise tadpoles, and more.
The instructions in this book are easy to follow, and my kids especially enjoyed the nature jokes that are sprinkled throughout the book!
Order Here: 100 Backyard Activities
Investigating tadpoles they found at the creek behind our house!
The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments
By Rachel Miller, Holly Homer, and Jamie Harrington
This book is full of engaging science activities with a focus on four topics: Kitchen Chemistry, Physics and Making Things Move, Exploring the World, and The Human Body. Each activity has easy-to-follow instructions, and there is even a mess rating and an icon that lets the reader know whether adult supervision is needed.
Kids will learn so many things with this book! Why do raisins sink in water, but rise in soda? If one tack will pop a balloon, why can you set the balloon on 100 tacks and it WON’T pop? Make invisible ink, magic sand (behaves really cool in water), unbreakable bubbles, and more. Definitely super cool!
Order Here: The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments
Awesome LEGO Creations with Bricks You Already Have
by Sarah Dees (that’s me!)
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you are probably already familiar with this book! If not, this book is filled with 50 new LEGO projects to build. Build airplanes, race cars, animals, robots, dragons, a working candy dispenser, and more. This book does something that most LEGO books don’t – there are actual building instructions! Some projects are open-ended or can easily be figured out from the photos, and others have step-by-step instructions. Every project has a list of the bricks needed.
The idea behind this book is to give kids new inspiration for their big tub of LEGO bricks. I’ve gotten so much positive feedback. Several friends told us that their kids received the book for Christmas and then spent days building almost every project! A few people have commented on Amazon that they bought this book and one tub of LEGO bricks and couldn’t make the projects. They’re right – one set, even the large classic tub, is not enough to build all the projects in this book. But if your child has a big tub of random pieces from sets that have been built and then deconstructed, you’ll be in great shape.
Epic LEGO Adventures with Bricks You Already Have
by Sarah Dees
This book has five funny adventure stories for kids to read, and then there are step-by-step instructions for each project in the stories. Kids will love reading the stories – mine are enjoying reading and re-reading them, and we are the ones who wrote them, ha. The stories will give kids inspiration for hours of building and pretend play! My favorite chapter is about a character we named Tex Alexander. He goes on a quest (along with his sidekick Bill) to find the missing piece of the Crystal Bunny. It’s a crazy and silly adventure, and kids can build his detective office, adventure jeep, the mysterious palace ruins, a biplane, a roadster for the bad guy, and more.
Recently, I was showing a preview of the book to some reading teacher friends. They said it would be a great book for a library maker space or a writing center at school! Put out the book along with some LEGO bricks and paper, and kids can build and write their own stories.
101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!
by Rachel Miller and Holly Homer
If you’re looking for awesome kids crafts, activities, and games, this is the perfect book! I love how open-ended and creative these projects are. Some of them are messy (make your own sidewalk chalk, for example), but others are low-mess (craft stick dominoes, stuffed animal marionette) for days where you just can’t handle the stress, ha ha!
Kids can open this book, read the instructions, and choose their own project to make or do. My boys had a great time creating “people sticks” with craft sticks and markers. It was a great boredom buster for them, and didn’t require any help or clean-up from me!
100 Fun & Easy Learning Games
by Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij
Prevent the summer slide with this fabulous book! 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids is perfect for kids ages 4-7. There are chapters with literacy games (learning letters and sounds up through reading words), writing activities, math, science, music & art, and even geography. The muffin tin syllable counting activity is one of my favorites! These are quality, hands-on games that kids will love, and they address learning objectives identified by certified teachers who are very familiar with what kids need to know. I appreciate the fact that most of the activities in this book rely on simple materials that you probably already have around the house.
If you’re looking to get ahead, prevent learning loss over the summer, or supplement your homeschooling program, you can’t go wrong with this book!
Order Here: 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids
The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day
by Dayna Abraham
The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day is all about helping kids understand why they do the things they do and communicate better with the adults in their life. If your child could use some support with getting ready for school, staying organized, and keeping his or her focus on the task at hand, you’ll want to buy this book! There are even activities that will help worriers and kids who are hesitant to eat anything other than their few trusted foods. (The food spinner activity is brilliant!). There are over 75 activities in this book.
So much of parenting goes better when we can anticipate things our kids need to practice and learn, rather than just reacting in the moment when things are going badly. This book will help you do just that!
HAVE FUN READING!