Best activity books and home learning books for every age group

Our pick of some of the most useful activity books for kids, great for home learning while they're off school

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best activity books

If you’re finding yourself running out of ideas to keep your kids entertained or engaged in their learning during lockdown, a few children’s activity books might be just what you need.

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There are a huge range of options for all ages available, from magnetic story books and sticker adventures for little ones, to maths and writing home learning books for Key Stage 2 . We’ve put together a list of children’s activity books divided by age group to help you easily choose the learning books right for your kids while homeschooling.

If you’re looking at simply keeping them occupied while they have a bit of fun, they can follow favourite characters like Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. For Key Stage 1 and 2 learners, there are plenty of workbooks to give them a bit of school-like structure as well as allowing books which let them have fun with their drawing and problem-solving skills.

Here’s our pick of best home learning books and activity books for kids…

Activity books for 2 to 4 year olds

PJ Masks Super Sticker Scene Book, £4.49

Age: 3 to 5

Let Catboy, Gekko and Owlette occupy your little one with a sticker book mission featuring puzzles, colouring and sticking activities. There are 125 stickers included which they can stick in the coordinating page of each story adventure alongside some of their favourite TV characters.

One parent who purchased this was impressed with the ghost-marks indicating where each sticker should go and the fact that each scene was captioned and titled. They said it was, “Great for practising reading along the way. I also love the double-sided and double-spread pull out posters in the middle.”

Available from: Amazon

Peppa Pig Marvellous Magnet Book, £7.99

Age: 3+

This interactive story book features Peppa Pig and incorporates magnetic characters which children can stick and reuse throughout the pages. The story follows fun days out for Peppa and her brother which kids join in on by using the magnets to complete the scenes.

Popular with previous buyers, this activity book for kids averages 4.7 out of 5 stars with over 1800 reviews on Amazon. One parent liked that the magnets can create multiple stories over the same pages and that they can be stored within the book.

They added, “Daughter really does love this. She has spent plenty of time sticking the magnets on the various pages and then turning the page and sticking them on again…A well-made product. Worth the money and provides lasting fun.”

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones

Numbers, Colours, Shapes, Toddler Colouring Book, £4.95

Age: 1 to 5

This home-learning book for kids is led by “The Learning Bugs”, who guide toddlers through colouring activities that aim to help them learn their key numbers, shapes and colours.

This edition is the number 1 bestseller in its category on Amazon and parents who have bought it for their kids previously seem pleased and noted that the paper was of a good quality so that pens didn’t run through to the other side.

One reviewer commented, “I bought this colouring book for my nearly 2 year old, who loves colouring and numbers. We are very impressed…We loved the large numbers on each page and the how to write the number feature.”

Available from: Amazon, Waterstones

Unicorn Handwriting Practice: Letter Tracing Workbook, £4.75

Age: 3 to 5

This kids activity book help little ones get to grips with their newfound handwriting skills and practice tracing and writing out the alphabet – a great option if you want to keep up their skills while homeschooling. The activities are supported by a friendly unicorn with various illustrations which little ones can also colour in.

Another top bestseller on Amazon, this workbook has hundreds of positive ratings. One parent said, “Exactly what I wanted to help my 4 year old with her handwriting. It has a page that teaches the correct way to form the letters, a page for both upper and lower case, as well as a colouring page.”

Available from: Amazon

Collins Easy Learning Maths, £3.95

Age: 3 to 5

This Early Learning Foundation Stage home learning book features easy to follow maths exercises for kids to improve their skills. There are lots of brightly coloured illustrations to help keep them engaged across the pages and it tries to make the activities feel more like games than maths problems – handy to encourage learning during lockdown.

Hundreds of previous buyers scored the book highly although a couple of reviewers remarked that they wished the book had been longer. Other parents who bought it said, “Got in preparation for the new school term and my little one loves it. Well laid out and clear, with nice easy step by step pages,” and “Love this brand, really fun little learning pages.”

Available from: Amazon

Activity books for 5 to 8 year olds

The Little Inventor’s Handbook, £5.37

Age: 5 to 8

An Amazon bestseller, this activity book for kids helps them imagine all kinds of inventions and learn problem solving skills. The book also covers a bit of history around inventions, science, art and technology as well as getting kids to think practically, led by author and inventor Dominic Wilcox.

Reviewers liked how the book breaks down the stages of inventing and suggested starting point for kids to have a go. One reviewer said, “There are some really lovely examples of inventions imagined by children and brought to life by willing grown ups. I’m not sure it’ll help our son build his time machine, but it will probably help him think of less ambitious projects to get him started.”

Available from: Amazon, WHSmith

365 Things to Make and Do, £8.99

Age: 5+

Usborne Activities makes lots of books for kids which are filled with various activities and ideas to help keep them occupied. This book contains enough things to try for every day of the year so it should mean you can get a at least a couple of hours of peace.

A previous buyer seemed pleased and said, “Its bright, beautiful and super easy to follow…The children have loved adapting and creating their very own master pieces to take pride of place on their bedroom walls.”

Available from: Amazon

Year 1 Maths Targeted Practice Workbook, £5.05

Age: 5 to 6 years

This home learning book for children is specifically tailored to the year 1 curriculum so should be a great option if you’re trying to guide your 5 or 6 year old through their sums from home.

There are 3 levels of difficulty so you can fine tune the exercises to your child’s ability and its designed to prepare them for their year 1 tests.

Available from: Waterstones

Logic Puzzles for Clever Kids, £7.98

Age: 4 to 6

This brain-teasing activity book for kids contains lots of puzzles which hopefully won’t feel too much like school work to have a go at. There’s 50 logic puzzles in 7 different styles which should keep little brains thinking hard.

One parent of 2 (5 and 7 years old) had to order another copy for both her children to have their own, because they enjoyed it so much. “The content is challenging, yet fun and they couldn’t put it down. The pictures are motivating and help pre-readers access content.”

Available from: Amazon

Grammar and Punctuation Workbook, £3.58

Age: 5 to 7

This workbook for kids is designed for 5 to 7 year olds, so would suit children in year 1 or 2 at primary school. The exercise book has space to write in the answers and work through problems as they would in school.

The activities are for level Key Stage 1 and previous buyers found it useful for their kids; “A clear, simple to understand layout, which children can easily get access. Covers all the latest aspects of grammar and punctuation included in the national curriculum.”

Available from: Amazon

Activity books for 9 to 12 year olds

Creative Writing Skills, £8.27

Age: 6 to 12

This children’s activity book should help kids improve their English and storywriting skills by encouraging them to think creatively. The prompts get kids to create their own characters, develop plots and craft dialogue.

One parent using this book with their 8-year-old son at home found it provided an easy and positive approach to writing. “We do each exercise as a fun learning session that we can revisit. The text gradually builds up in developing writing skills and is enjoyable for me as an adult, whilst guiding him.”

Available from: Amazon

Key Stage 2 Maths Problem Solving: 10 Minute Tests, £2.95

Age: 9 to 11

This maths home learning book for kids is tailored for children between the ages of 9 and 11, for Key Stage 2 learning. The book contains 10 minute tests for kids to do at home and perfect their maths skills in exam-style conditions.

Tests work at different levels, beginning with warm-up activities before moving into harder questions to help determine what level they’re comfortable with. There are 12 tests altogether which could be used to regularly to determine how well their maths skills have been coming along.

Available from: Amazon

How to Draw Pokemon, £6.95

Age: 5 to 12

It might be easier to get kids engaged with art lessons during homeschooling if they’re learning to draw some of their favourite characters. This book should help them have a step-by-step go at illustrating Pikachu, Squirtle and Jigglypuff, who they might recognise from playing Pokemon Go and other games.

Over 400 reviews on Amazon gave positive feedback, averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. Previous buyers made comments such as, “Nice step by step process. Ideal for children and beginner artists. Broken down nicely,” and “Excellent book with good clear instructions. Child very happy with it.”

Available from: Amazon

Brain Games for Clever Kids, £3.14

Age:  8 to 11

This popular puzzle book for kids contains a mix of memory, word and number activities including Sudoku and spot the difference. The books scored well with previous buyers and averages 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon with reviews from over 800 people.

According to reviewers, there is mostly one puzzle on each page which are a mix of maths, logic, pictures, words and more. One reviewer remarked, “Most puzzles can be solved independently by a child (aged 8 or above). It’s small and light to carry around as a boredom buster for anytime. Decent paper quality and a bright colourful cover.”

Available from: Amazon, WHSmith, The Works

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