Check out these fun, interactive books for hours of building, learning, drawing, and creating!

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Reading is one of my family's favorite activities, and my 6-year-old loves to act out stories, build Legos into shapes from his books, and draw his favorite characters. His interest led me on a hunt for more interactive books that we could enjoy together—and I wanted to share some of our favorite finds with you here!

doodle adventures 1
doodle adventures 2

Doodle Adventures

By: Mike Lowery

(Ages 8-11)

These books start out by telling kids: "You know how your parents and teachers are always saying NOT to write in your books?'ve GOT to write in this one. It's required. Absolutely necessary..."

Delightful! These books follow the adorable character Carl the Duck on missions, and they have lots of spaces for kids to be a part of the story by drawing things to help the characters along and interacting with the book in other ways. My kids went wild doodling in these books, and they're also great for working on reading comprehension, spelling, drawing, and storytelling.

a child of books
from a child of books

By: Oliver Jeffers

(Ages 4 and up)

This book is beautiful! It's a lyrical picture book that celebrates the power of imagination. The story is charming, but what my kids really loved were the illustrations, which are made from words. The characters sail on seas of words, move through forests of stories—and these flights of fancy inspired us to try out our own text art. What a great way to stretch the imagination and teach reading all at once!

who wins

By: Clay Swartz

(ages 8-12)

Gahndhi vs. Florence Nightingale? Alexander the Great vs. Marie Curie? Louis Armstrong vs. Avicenna? Who wins? These are the questions that drive this remarkable flip book. By assigning historical figures points in the areas of wealth, fitness, wisdom, bravery, artistry, leadership, and intelligence, this book offers kids hundreds of ways to learn historical tidbits as they "battle" in the silly contests between famous figures.

paint by sticker

(Ages 5-12)

This book is genius! It's a paint-by-number book meets sticker book meets Tanagrams. Perfect for working on fine motor skills and spatial orientation! I bet your kids—like mine—will love to see what larger animal appears from the many smaller shapes. And bonus: It's great for building attention spans (my son spent hours working his way through this book, one sticker at a time)!

project kid

By: Amanda Kingloff

(Ages 8-12)

Got a kid who loves transportation? Then this is the craft book for you! It's divided into seven sections: City, Rails, Country, Water, Dirt, Sky, and Space; and within each of these are unique, fun crafts. So far, my kids and I have made a Night Lighthouse, a School Bus Pencil Holders, a DIY Erector Set, and we've got plans for many other fun projects.

oh ick

Oh Ick ! 114 Science Experiments Guaranteed to Gross You Out!

By: Joy Masoff with Jessica Garrett and Ben Ligon

(Ages 8-12)

Release date: November 1, 2016

My kids love all things gross science, and OH ICK! Is full of fun experiments and tons of helpful science information. Ever since we got this book, not a day goes by that my youngest doesn't bring me the book, begging to learn more about boogers, burps, fossils, fungi, earwax, slime, spit, and much, much more. Ewwwww!

spy on history

By: Enigma Alberti and Tony Cliff

(Ages 8-12)

Release date: January 10, 2017

This book is so cool! It's perfect for kids who love Whodunit games like CLUE or mystery stories. It tells the story of Mary Bowser, a tremendously brave African-American Union spy who worked in the home of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president. As if that weren't exciting enough, it's full of clues, sealed envelopes, a Civil War cipher, and much more that will help kids solve a mystery themselves. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Jamie Pacton writes middle grade and young adult fiction, drinks loads of coffee, dreams of sailing, and enjoys each day with her husband and two sons. Find her at