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

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