Creative Activity Books for Children

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Creative Activity Books for Children

When I first started teaching I had no children and the school holidays were full of shopping, travel, movies and projects in the garden. Post children and still teaching, the holidays are full of (lovely) chaos, play, nice slow mornings, endless dishes and snacks…oh the snacks. Mum often smirks at me when PudStar is whining about how hungry she is despite having just downed a bowl of porridge, toast, a mango and an orange. Apparently when I was young I used to whine ALL DAY about needing food and apparently not much has changed.

In order to space out the snacks and to inspire some creativity…I love Doodle and colouring books which are not just colouring books. I don’t for a second think that these books are ‘art’ but they are great for encouraging creativity in ways that colouring books are not. They also do not involve glitter and glue. Whilst I don’t mind a bit of glitter and glue mess, I do so love reading the honesty of people like Beth at BabyMac who says she has a ‘deep dislike and distrust of craft’…I love that line. These types of books are perfect for those that prefer to leave craft to grandparents, caregivers, schools but are okay with some coloured pencil action.

PudStar and her Artwork

Coloured Pencils and Watercolour – nearly no mess!

If your child is not particularly enamoured with art and/or craft these are also a great way to encourage creative thinking. I’ve seen some fabulous drawings in Doodle books by children who have claimed they ‘can’t draw’. They give some structure to a child’s drawing but are far from a colouring in book. And the 1000 Dot to Dot book below is magic for older children and adults. I had to turn on Peppa Pig yesterday in order to get ten more minutes peace to finish Marilyn Monroe – ‘please leave me alone and watch Peppa…can’t you see I am doing a dot to dot!’. It’s just a little bit magical.


My long list of Doodle books I love is here. A few more I have discovered recently are listed below along with some fab ‘not just colouring’ books like this mandala one Pud was given. She has been concentrating on the ‘order’ of her colours…and has no idea that at the same time she is also learning some important patterning skills.

the-mandala-colouring-book (1)

This Secret Garden one is perfect for children from about 6 or 7 years old and right now it is also happily amusing my grandmother who is sitting beside PudStar right now colouring the other page – so I’m saying it’s suitable from 6 – 80something. You can see the book trailer for it below.


Zolo has been around for years, but I only stumbled upon their fab colouring/doodle books last year. You can seem them here. They are quirky and modern and there is an app that goes with these which is worth checking out. The ad for the app is below.


And special mention again must be made to ‘DoodleCook’ by Herve Tullet, watch the you tube clip and swoon at the accent (and the book is FAB too. I promise I was not swayed by the accent of the author).


I will be gifting this one to several AFL fans I know!


Lastly, this is not a Doodle book but Pud got it for Christmas and has been loving the stencil art!


To add these books to your home, school or library collection please click on the title or cover links.

The cover and title links of this book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here.

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Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. BabyMacBeh on Jan 9, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    I love all these suggestions…and we have quite a few of them already. For a craft hater THESE I can do!

    • Anonymous on Jan 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Didn’t think you’d SEE this (oh the power of a pingback and a credited quote – I’m such a librarian with my correct quote referencing). I feel the same way about children and sporting activities…I DETEST sporting pursuits that require me to do drop offs and watch balls being thrown. YUCK!

  2. katepickle on Jan 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    As much as I love doing art with my kids (mostly because I love doing art for me! LOL) I can not stand glitter! Even as a preschool teacher I loathed the stuff… so you are right to be wary of anything involving glitter! LOL

    And I have deep distrust of colouring in books, but I love these more inspiring versions! I want to get some of these for myself!

  3. Joanne Bevan on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    I loved dot to dot books as a child so I might just have to treat myself as a way to pass time when it is too hot to go outside. You have given me inspiration for birthday presents for young nieces & nephews this year.

    • Anonymous on Jan 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      You won’t regret this book!

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