The Most Fun Activity Books for Kids of All Ages

updated Dec 9, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Romrodphoto / Shutterstock

This year sales of activity books have taken off like never before thanks to all the time that kids are spending at home. It makes sense: They’re a great alternative to screentime or plain old coloring books, and with most priced under $20, they’re an affordable form of entertainment too.

Cubby gathered a list of our favorite picks and tapped the expertise of a couple activity book authors, Erin Jang, the author of You, Me, We! and Dominika Lipniewska author of Doodle Town for some of their favorite picks. Here is a list of 15 fun activity books to while away a winter afternoon.

This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.

Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.

Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.

Favorite Kids’ Stories Come to Life

Don’t Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book by Mo Willems

Mo Willems made a splash this spring with his draw-along sessions for kids at home during school closures. The same fun exists in the pages of this book based off his popular Pigeon series.

We Are in an ART-ivity Book! by Mo Willems

Another activity book by Willems, in this book Willems’ popular characters meet Artvark, who teaches them (and your kid) about art through drawing activities.

Tullet’s popular books Press Here, Mix It Up, and Let’s Play! all encouraged children to play and interact with the books in delightful ways, but Draw Here is the first to invite them to bring pen to page.

Words & Pictures Playing Together

You, Me, We! By Erin Jang

This pair of fill-in books by illustrator (and friend of Cubby!) Erin Jang is meant to be completed by a parent and child at the same time. 

Doodle Adventures series by Mike Lowry

Jang recommends the “Doodle Adventures” series that lets kids ages 8 and up draw themselves into a graphic novel. 

Alphadoodler by Jan Bajtlik 

Recommended by Lipniewska, this book has received much praise for its stunning typography–and it sneaks in a little letter learning too.

Playful Puzzles for Little Hands by Taro Gomi

Jang also loves Playful Puzzles for Little Hands for the pre-K and early elementary set. “My youngest (who is 4) loves Taro Gomi books,” says Jang. “He’s the original master of beautiful activity books for small children.

Art-Forward Fun

Doodle Town by Dominika Lipniewska

Lipniewska’s plus-sized book offers 60 drawing activities and has a stencil included to take doodles to the next level.

The Little Factory of Illustration by Florie Saint Val

Children are invited into the “factory” to draw and make art, a concept Lipniewska adores; the techniques and ideas can be used for art projects long after the book is filled.

Recommended by Erica Cerulo in the A Thing or Two newsletter, this blank dollhouse-shaped drawing book encourages imaginative play for budding interior designers.

Search-and-Find Books 

Where’s Waldo? series by Martin Hanford

The original search-and-find series is just as much fun as you remember it to be. 

Your kids can enjoy page after page of what we consider the best part of Highlights magazine: The hidden picture puzzles.

Find Frida by Catherine Ingram

The artist is hiding in densely-drawn scenes that tell Frida Kahlo’s life story. 

Where’s Prince? by Kev Gahan

A recent pick from the team at, this book has you search for the pop singer in a variety of settings that will appeal to tweens and teens.