Kid Activity Pro-Tip from Aunt Martha & Aunt Laura

On their last visit in 2018, Aunt M&L visited baring gifts. They came across this collection of random children’s activity books and readers and brought them for Jimmy & Billy. At the time the boys were not quite old enough to really appreciate these and I saved them for when the time was right.

I reviewed my kid stash and was ready to bring these out now that Jimmy is age 5 and Billy is (almost) 4. They love animals and are familiar with many of the characters present on these books.

At this stage I believe it is important to get the kids reading often and always. For this reason we have provided the boys with an assortment of book with their favorite characters such as Mickey Mouse and the Avengers.

The goal is to Get the kids to pick up a book and open it or want to flip through it. That is more than 50% the battle in getting a kid to read IMHO.

Book fair style! I presented the books like this to the boys and they instantly gravitated toward legos, Mickey mouse and Pae Patrol. I saved the National Geographics for reading time.
I placed the National Geographics Readers within the children’s reach and near cute animal toys they can touch and play with to help them connect with the toy.
During reading time I connected with the boys vybteading about this frog while letting one son hold the frog while we went over each word.

Where to get great activity books like these?

Happy Meals – Many fast food chains have gone away from selling plastic character toys as part fo their kids meals surprise toy and have switched over to activity books such as children’s National Geographics (which I would have loved as a kid who would go through my parents grown up version of the mag). While McDonalds focuses more on plastic collectible toys these Fast Food Restaurants with activity books and games more often than not.

  • Chick Fil A
  • Wendy’s

Many adults eat kids meals as a means of portion control. I was one of those people and often saved the toys and actually read the books and even kept the cutest plastic toys (which will slowly make their way into our kids toy collection).

Yard Sales: If you dont have kids but have kids meals books still in their wrapper and in good condition please consider giving them away to someone who has kids in that reading age. A co worker, neighbor, church or child care center. If you are having a yard sale, please consider giving away or at least selling them for a very inexpensive price to further promote reading to children and to make sure that toy/book makes it’s way to the a child, as it was intended.

Five & Below – Also known as the $5 Store. Some of these can even be purchased at the dollar store. I like the Step 1 readers with familiar characters such as Mickey Mouse and Paw Patrol which the kids instantly want to grab and open. Five and below has an impressive collection of coloring books/activity books and Step 1,2,3 readers all very reasonably priced and fun to collect! I love to get the readers of familiar characters my kids recognize because they get excited about reading.

Pharmacies & Grocery Stores

I have found memories of walking with my mother to the local People’s Drug (now CVS) to get a new Step 1 Reading or Math book. Did you know that most pharmacies have a kid section with really good activity books? Check them out. The best part is that when/if on travel there us a pharmacy in just about every town and airport and they may have these books for your young traveling companion.

Walmart & Target

One of my favorite activity books came from Wamart. It is spiral bound, laminated and with care, it has provided hours of fun and activities and games for Jimmy and now Billy. Activity books can be in either the coloring book (Arts and Crafts) section or mixed into the regular Books section of Walmart and Target.

Dine in Restaurants

Though this is becoming less and less common, there was a time when a kid would be presented with crayons and an activity book while dining with an adult at places such as Denny’s, IHOP and other family restaurants. I have seen some.really cute custom ones when dining on travel and have been known to fold mine up and bring it home for a kid to enjoy. With the rising costs for restaurants I am seeing less of these activity books and certainly none during COVID 19.

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Adventures of the Solita family!