Must-Have Activity Books To Pack for Vacation

If there’s anything that parenting has taught me, it’s to prepare for the in-between moments when everything can quickly turn disastrous. You know the ones. They’re the times when you’re traveling from point A to point B (note: it doesn’t matter if this takes minutes or hours), when you’re waiting in a long line, or when you’re sitting in a crowded restaurant. Unfortunately, these are the times it’s easy to forget to plan for — and when all hell will inevitably break loose.

There are only so many snacks you can pass to the back seat or games of “I Spy” you can play in your hotel room in the wee hours of the morning. So quiet activities that keep your kids busy and spark their imaginations become the unlikely heroes of every vacation.

These travel-worthy activity books have something for everyone: coloring, stickers, games, and more.

no no 9780593224588 Big Backyard: A Coloring Book by Penguin Young Readers Licenses

Fans of Bluey will love this coloring book, which features favorite characters like Bluey, Bingo, and Bob Bilby. And kids who don’t know the show will still love coloring the expressive characters in various outdoor scenes. With 64 pages of images to tackle, this coloring book will last through car, plane, and train rides — and even a few rainy days.

9780593752517 Bluey’s Beach: An Activity Book by Penguin Young Readers Licenses

And for even more fun in the sun, join Bluey and Bingo at the beach! This craft book has everything you need to fill up the summer months, from drawing the best sandcastle ever, designing your own sunnies, and so much more!

9781644726808 501 Backyard Animal Joke-tivities by Highlights

Learning about animals has never been this much fun! Kids will eagerly dive into this big book filled with animal facts, jokes, activities, and puzzles. With over 500 funny bone-tickling activities inside, this book makes an excellent addition to your road-trip supplies.

9780744090499 Find My Favorite Things Dinosaurs by DK

Who doesn’t love a classic seek-and-find book? They are perfect for endless hours of fun. With an I-spy journey perfect for inquisitive young readers, ancient dinosaurs and prehistoric plants to spot, it’s easy to get lost in the pages. There are also open-ended questions on each page to get imaginations revved up. Perfect for in the car, between activities, or waiting in a restaurant.

9780593225790 Mad Libs Workbook: Summer Activities by Catherine Nichols and Mad Libs

Keep your kids’ brains sharp with this summer-themed workbook from Mad Libs! Inside, you’ll find lessons and activities to reinforce what your child learned at school while offering them plenty of interactive fun along the way. Kids will learn phonics, grammar and spelling, comprehension, and vocabulary while completing hilarious fill-in-the-blank stories.

9780593123041 Uni the Unicorn Dream & Draw Activity Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Calling all unicorn lovers! This coloring-and-activity book is about to become your new favorite thing — even more so if you’re a fan of the Uni the Unicorn series! This book has stickers, posters, mazes, wordplay, doodle prompts, puzzles, and more. There’s even a punch-out unicorn perfect for magical play in hotel rooms and on planes, trains, and car rides.

9780593377321 Peppa’s Very Busy Activity Book (Peppa Pig) by Golden Books

Peppa Pig fans will love this colorful activity book full of adventures with Peppa, her brother George, and all their friends. Inside, you’ll find coloring pages, mazes, spot the difference games, and so much more — including more than 50 stickers. Like Peppa, your kids will stay very, very busy with this book in hand.

9780744098884 Draw with Art for Kids Hub Animals by Art for Kids Hub and Rob Jensen

This activity book is perfect for the whole family. From the team behind the YouTube sensation Art for Kids Hub, this interactive book includes unique, easy-to-follow instructions (both the kid and adult versions) to a variety of drawing projects. This book aims to foster a love of drawing, showing kids that each drawing doesn’t need to be perfect as long as you’re enjoying the process!

9780593304204 Super Stickers! (Blue’s Clues & You) by Golden Books, illustrated by Dave Aikins

Super Stickers! contains more than 500 stickers — which will automatically make it a favorite for kids. But it’s so much more than that. There are also coloring pages, mazes, matching games, and drawing prompts! And kids will love seeing their favorite characters from the show — Blue, Josh, Magenta, and all of their friends. Blue’s Clues fans will be hooked the second they crack it open.

9780593426258 Richard Scarry’s Big Busy Sticker & Activity Book by Richard Scarry

Speaking of stickers, this book has more than 800 of them! It also features mazes, games, puzzles, and coloring pages — all alongside the zany adventures you’ve come to expect from Busytown. The full-color activity book draws readers into the Busytown world as they join in on their favorite characters’ escapades.

9781644726792 On-the-Go Puzzles Big Fun Activity Pad by Highlights

Nobody does on-the-go entertainment like Highlights, and this big activity pad is perfect for keeping kids occupied during road trips, plane flights, or downtime. The activities inside feature various modes of transportation, and the perforated pages make it easy to tear out the pages and share with siblings during long trips. It’s perfect for kids obsessed with cars, trains, planes, and boats.

9781664340091 Color with Stickers: Dinosaurs by Jonny Marx

This book takes a fun new twist on coloring and stickers. Each page features fun facts about a specific dinosaur on one side and a color-with-stickers dinosaur on the other. To “color” the dinosaurs, readers place numbered stickers on coordinating shapes to complete the picture. A sure hit for dinosaur lovers, this book combines learning and fun in a truly engaging way.

9781639620890 Tangram Puzzle Fun created by Highlights

Enjoy solving tangram puzzles with this brain-teasing book from Highlights. Kids will arrange shapes to form a larger picture, complete logic puzzles, find hidden pictures, and more! This book includes a magnetic board and pieces which makes this the perfect book to bring on long trips.

9780744033304 Sticker Encyclopedia National Parks by DK

Headed to a national park or on a cross-country road trip? This reusable sticker book is the perfect companion. It features more than 600 reusable stickers and lots of fun facts about the wildlife and geography in many of the US’s national parks. With photos and space to create scenes with stickers, this book encourages learning through play.

9780593373019 The Dr. Seuss Beginner Fun Activity Book by Dr. Seuss

Looking for an activity book that combines learning and fun? This book is for you! Silly and full of beloved characters, this collection of five books features Dr. Seuss’s trademark rhymes, more than 100 stickers, and simple math and reading activities. The book includes Opposites and Differences, Rhyming Words, Letter Sounds, Easy Addition, and Counting Beyond 100.

9780593385494 The Quiz Less Traveled by Rachel McMahon

Little kids aren’t the only ones who need to stay entertained during the summer break. Tweens and teens also enjoy screen-free activities, and this exciting book of quizzes is the perfect boredom buster. It’s filled with vacation-related quizzes that kids can complete solo or with friends or family.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2021 and updated in 2024.

The post Must-Have Activity Books To Pack for Vacation appeared first on Brightly.

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