Sawchuk boys doing Astronaut Academy Book Activity
Raise your hand if you have stacks of activity books hiding in a closet or drawer in your house that have never been done or were barely started before they were tossed aside! My hand is raised.... but I have found some things that work!
There are so many things competing for our children's attention that are way flashier than activity books. So why bother? For one, we know that letting our kids spend all their free time on screens is not super healthy. Plus screens are not always available so it's helpful to have alternatives that kids enjoy for long car rides, camping trips, quiet time etc.
Additionally they can:
- Increase focus
- Build skills
- Create memories
- Foster interests
What if your kid shows no interest? Try these tips and see what happens!
1) Show them how it works.
Unlike video games and apps that teach as you play, activity books may need some guidance. Sit down with your kids and do a few of the activities together. Once you have shown them how a crossword puzzle, maze, dot to dot, logic game or two work, they should catch on and be able to do them on their own in the future. Or use them as an opportunity to spend time together!
2) Find out what types they enjoy most.
Kids all learn differently and enjoy different kinds of games and activities. Does your child prefer activities with numbers or words? Does he or she like when there is a correct answer or prefer doing things that are more open ended or creative? Solo activities or competitive games? Play around with a few different types to find out what they like best.
3) Follow their interests.
Whether your child is into space or pirates or animals, there will be dozens of activity books on that subject. What subjects does your child excel at or enjoy? Writing, art, math, science? Find activity books that build on their strengths and passions. As your child gets older and starts exploring what she wants to be when she grows up, you can find books that teach those skills or explore that career path.
4) Pull them out at opportune times.
Bring neglected activity books on long car trips or to appointments where there will be wait times. Leave them out on the kitchen table or your kiddo's bed. Pull them out when
5) Remember that they are supposed to be fun!
Put on some fun music. Do the activities in a fort or by flashlight at night. Get friends involved. Get silly, laugh and play along. Try not to expect perfection or treat it like a homework assignment!
Here are some of my favorite Usborne and Kane Miller activity books!