The best reading and activity books for school children may be part of your school district's curriculum, but in some cases they may not be. Taking a proactive approach to your child's education includes developing a personal library that includes books as well as thought-provoking activities.
The Best Reading and Activity Books for School Children
It is difficult to narrow down the best reading and activity books for school children for a few reasons. Many different publications are available and it can be very time-consuming. In addition, each child is unique, which makes it difficult to suggest what works across the board.
Breaking down the selection into specific categories depending on your child's interests and abilities is a great place to begin. Develop a list of recommended reading books followed by a list of activity books for kids.
Best Reading Books for Students
The best reading books for school kids are naturally engaging. They should have some of the following qualities:
- Rich vocabulary - Ideally, the book should prompt the child to look up definitions out of curiosity.
- Imaginative - The story should promote imagination and parents can gauge this element as the child incorporates elements of the story into pretend play.
- Artful - The illustrations in some children's books are visually stunning, but artfulness may also be found in the use of language, metaphor, and other poetic devices.
- Purpose - The child should take some life lesson away with the story, whether it is a moral or improved self-esteem.
- Activities - The book should encourage children to engage in an activity, which can include sports, cooking, drawing among countless others.
Following are samples of great books for school-aged children that inspire them to participate in activities:
- Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm is a fantastic non-fiction book that teaches kids how to make doodles transform into comics.
- Bring Me Some Apples and I'll make You a Pie by Robin Gourley is about a child who aspires to be a chef. The book includes recipes that kids can make with their parents.
- My People by Langston Hughes is a beautiful collection of poetry and portrait photographs. Follow up by encouraging your child to take photographs after reading the book.
- Around the World with Mouk features detailed illustrations by Marc Boutavant. The book takes the reader around the world and it includes reusable stickers for imaginative play. Mouk is a great pick for first grade boys.
Best Activity Books for Students
Activity books are excellent for children who learn by doing (kinesthetic learners). Activities offered in books for kids run the gamut from drawing to science experiments. You can use the activities to build on your child's interests and strengths, but the books can serve to develop interest in new topics as well. Following is a sample of great activity books for students.
- Stencil Art published by Klutz is a fun activity book that encourages kids to use their creativity using stencils and ink. The publication includes stenciling techniques for kids to try.
- Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Bharat Cornell has been engaging children in nature games and activities for 20 years. The second edition of the book is currently available.
- Mudworks: Creative Clay, Dough, and Modeling Experiences by MaryAnn F. Kohl is a nice selection for young students that makes getting messy as educational as it is fun.
- The Everything Kids series offers many different activity books for children of all ages. Topics include:
- Hidden pictures
- Word games
The Best Children's Books of the YearThe Best Children's Books of the Year is a collection of the most outstanding books for kids as selected by The Children's Book Committee. The publication is celebrating its 100th anniversary and it is highly respected. The book organizes the list by age and topic, which makes searching for the best reading and activity books for school children much easier.
With the countless children's books on the market today, there is little wonder why parents can get confused about which to select. The options can be overwhelming, but keep in mind that most of the publications are adequate for learning. The idea is to select materials that are motivating to your child.