Children’s Books: Five Awesome Activity Books

The summer holidays are only a few short weeks away and I’m starting to think about how we can fill those (hopefully) long summer days. One thing is for sure, we will need things to entertain the boy during long journeys and when we’re out an about. We have an activity bag which we can grab when we go out; there’s usually a packet of Top Trumps, some activity books and some pens. That bag is a real life saver and contains enough for a few hours of fun.

We try not to stick him in front of a screen for too long. For two reasons; we’re out as a family so all of our screens are off and we’re trying to be social. He also turns into a real grumpy so and so if he watches too much stuff on the iPad. With summer fast approaching, the activity bag needs some new activity books, so here is our pick of five awesome activity books.

Five Awesome Activity Books

My Brilliant Big Activity Book by Andrea Pinnington covers a wide range of topics, including dragons, pirates, space adventures and holiday fun! It’s the ultimate activity book to keep kids busy and entertained; full of clever colouring pages, drawing tips and tricks, puzzles and mazes, make-and-do activities and games. From solving mazes, connecting the dots, colouring in pictures or spotting the difference, this book guarantees hours of fun! Read our full review of it here.

Children's Books: Five Awesome Activity Books

Little Children’s Travel Activity Book by James Maclaine is a brilliant collection of activities to keep children busy while they’re traveling. The book includes puzzles, word searches, dot-to-dot, spot-the-difference, mazes and more. It’s such a fun book, I want my own copy!

Orchard Toys Things To Do Sticker Activity Colouring BookColour in the pictures, match stickers, complete the fun activities and much more with this range of six colouring books featuring fun and familiar Orchard Toys Characters. Each book includes clear, age-appropriate pictures plus fun activities to help reinforce early learning skills in true Orchard Toys style! You can read our review of the full range of these books here.

Pencil & Paper Games from Usborne is a classic activity book for kids. Pencil and Paper Games is a tear-off pad featuring over one hundred games to play. The book is mostly games for two people to play together;  noughts and crosses, or hangman, that kind of thing which is just the kind of game we enjoy playing together. It’s brilliant fun for kids to play together in the back of the car, or to play against a parent on a plane!

The Anti-Boredom Colouring Book by Chris Dickason. You can’t beat the simple joy of a good colouring book. The Anti-Boredom Colouring Book is packed with weird and wonderful pictures to colour like pet sharks, mutant hamsters, household robots and doughnuts that rain from the sky, there’s something for everyone in this fun and funny colouring book.

What’s your go to activity book this summer? I’d love to hear your recommendations. 

Children's Books: Five Awesome Activity Books

Review: Travel in Style with a kids Pipity Activity Case

Whenever we go out anywhere, even if it’s just to a local cafe I always shove an activity book and some pens in my bag to keep the boy entertained. He likes to draw and colour in. It is something he can do by himself or something we can do together. We were sent an award winning Pipity Activity Case, Pipity Portfolio and some Pipity Activity Books to try out on our holiday. But what did the boy think?

Pipity Activity Case

There are three different colours to choose from, red, pink and blue, all have a lovely star pattern. We chose the blue stars because blue is his favourite colour. The Pipity Activity Case is a fold out case full of all the stationery a child would need to colour in or create things. It includes a pencil, colouring pencils, a ruler, scissors (not sharp), glue, a pencil sharpener and a little pouch to keep your activity book in.

The Pipity Activity Case folds out and has an easel/board you can lean on to use if you’re not sat at a table. This is a great idea, especially if you need to keep them entertained somewhere like the airport where they are likely to be sat on the floor.

Pipity Activity Case

The Pipity Activity Case has a carry handle and a strap you can sling over your shoulder and carry it with. And this is what the boy did as soon as he clapped eyes on it. Wherever we went, Pipity had to come too, and the best thing was he was carrying it for once. He was so proud and excited to have his own swanky activity case, he showed it off to anyone who would listen.

We were sent three different activity books to try, so we eased ourselves in gently and just chose the book which had blank pages to write and draw on. These are just the right size to slip inside the activity case. The pages are perforated too – a nice touch, so when you’ve finished your masterpiece you can tear it out and stick it on the fridge.

Pipity Activity Case

Pipity is very portable. It’s light, is around A5 size and is in a waterproof oilcloth case. It’s well made, stylish (I would love a similar one for adult crafting things) and it is suitable for children aged 6+ (though it’s safe for ages 3+). The activity case costs £24.99 and is currently available online via the Pipity website.

Pipity Activity Case

We were also sent the Pipity Portfolio, a handy case with expandable compartments to store your masterpieces once you’ve completed them. It’s the ideal companion to the activity case and costs just £7.50. I really liked this, the boy has a habit of gifting me his drawings and I never have anywhere to store them, so I liked that we could keep them safe in the portfolio.

Pipity Activity Case

The Pipity Portfolio has its own handle so you can carry it. It’s made from lined board and is around A5 size. The portfolio has an elastic fastener to keep your treasures safe and sound. I think this is a lovely idea and a great price. I’d like to see it also available in a larger A4 size for bigger pieces of artwork.

Pipity was designed by Kate, a Mum of 3 from Devon.  The range has been designed at her kitchen table and was launched in May 2015.  The Pipity Activity Case recently won Right Start Best Toy Award 2016, which is very exciting. The Pipity range is all available on the Pipity website.

The Pipity Activity Case is absolutely perfect for taking on holiday, on days out, or just to the local cafe. It has been very widely admired by everyone who has seen it (or been shown it by the boy) and I can see this becoming a real essential for us whenever we leave the house.

We were sent these lovely Pipity products for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Orchard Toys Activity Books

Working in a small independent toy shop I am lucky enough to get to hear about quite a lot of new toys, games, books and puzzles before they hit the shelves. I was super-giddy when I saw the new puzzles for this year from Orchard Toys, and several of them will be joining our collection at home at some point very soon. However I was especially interested in the new range of Orchard Toys Activity Books.

The small boy loves an activity book, he fell in love with them over Christmas and has been working his way through one a week ever since.

There are six Orchard Toys Activity Books available, they are –

  • Animals Sticker Colouring Book, ages 3+
  • Make Believe Sticker Colouring Book, ages 3+
  • ABC Sticker Colouring Book, ages 4+
  • Number Sticker Colouring Book, ages 4+
  • First Words Sticker Colouring Book, ages 4+
  • Things To Do Sticker Activity Book, ages 5+

Each of the Orchard Toys Activity Books is 24 pages long and contains stickers for them to stick on the pages as they go along. We chose three of the activity books;  the Things To Do Sticker Activity Book, the Number Sticker Colouring Book, and the First Words Sticker Colouring Book.

Orchard Toys Activity Books

The activity books have colourful covers and are black and white on the inside, with large drawings and shapes to colour in. Where there are words or numbers to copy and write, they are dotted lines to draw over and lots of space to practice.

The Number Sticker Colouring Book goes from 1 – 10 and includes practice writing the numbers, as well as counting activities, colouring in and sticking. All of which are great for encouraging the fine motor skills children of that age need to develop.

The First Words Sticker Colouring Book has 23 words to identify and write, as well as colouring in and stickers to stick. The words include cat, dog, drum, teddy and rocket. Again there are several chances to practice writing each word and extra space if you need it.

The Things To Do Sticker Activity Book is aimed at children aged 5+ and contains 20 pages of puzzles and things to do, including matching puzzles, word searches, dot to dots, mazes and simple sums.

I think activity books are great, we always have them out on the table to do a page or two when we get home from school. We don’t like to push him to do them, but he often asks to do a page of numbers or a dot to dot. They’re also great for taking out and about, an activity book and a couple of felt tips weigh virtually nothing.

Orchard Toys Activity Books

These Orchard Toys activity books are ideal for supporting the learning he is doing at school. We have been asked by his teacher to do more writing and pen holding at home, so even things like colouring in and learning to colour in the lines is great for his development.

  • Encourages Observational Skills
  • Encourages Number and Counting Skills
  • Encourages Discussion
  • Develops Shape and Matching Skills
  • Develops Hand Eye Coordination
  • Promotes Language and Literacy

For me, as equally important as supporting his learning and development at home is that he enjoys doing them and actively asks to do them with us, which he has done. We enjoy sitting with him and talking about what he’s doing and what’s happening on each page, we try not to make learning a chore.

These activity books are priced at £3.99 which I think is about average for an activity book like this (and I’ve bought lots and lots of them) and quite reasonable given the content and design. I think they’ve been well thought out and are a welcome addition to the Orchard Toys range.

You can find out more about the Orchard Toys Activity books on their website.

Note: We were sent these three activity books for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.