A new crop of activity books provides kids with hours of creative fun—perfect for travel!
Tangles: Amazing Zendoodles to Color and Draw by Abby Huff, illustrated by Angelika Scudamore et al.
A bevy of starter images gets kids decorating hedgehogs, dragons, alphabets, and seashells with intricate repeating patterns, which transform into templates for them to color in. Ages 9 to 12, Capstone; $10
Look! What Do You See?: An Art Puzzle Book of American & Chinese Songs by Xu Bing, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander
The entire content of this book is a puzzle! First he’ll need to figure out the artist’s ingenious cipher, made up of words that look like Chinese characters. Then he’ll be inspired to work up his own messages. Ages 7 to 10, Penguin Young Readers Group; $19
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: An Adventure Field Guide by Bear Hunt Films Ltd.
Kids start outside with “field activities” that have ’em searching for species of evergreens, things that crawl and fly, and phenomena like rainbows. Then they can continue their research in your home/lab with a host of nature projects. Ages 6 to 9, Candlewick; $14
The Big Sticker Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer
For the sticker fiend in your family, this interactive book offers 500 reusable peeland-press pond bugs, dragonflies, snails, and their kind. Kids can also design butterfly wings, sketch picnic foods to attract ants, and design termite towers. Ages 5 and up, Thames & Hudson; $15
The Incredible Pirate Activity Book by David Antram
Mix-and-match games, mazes, word searches, and drawing challenges—they’re all in here, waiting for your salty dog to swashbuckle them into submission. Ninetysix pages of fun just might be enough to get you to Grandma’s and back for multiple visits. Ages 7 and up, Book House; $8
Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
School-age builders will learn how to stock a drafter’s toolbox and discover the way architects use balance. Kids then apply this knowledge to dreaming up their own town full of bridges, parks, and more. Ages 5 to 7, Abrams Books for Young Readers; $15