With the current pandemic, parents are now tasked to homeschool their kids through online learning, worksheets, and activity books. While a nursery class focuses on learning by play, your little one’s kindergarten year is intended to introduce them to a more formal classroom setting.
This setup can easily be replicated at home with the help of effective educational materials. In this article, we prepared a buying guide—with comments and tips from an early childhood educator, Och Gonzalez — along with our top 10 recommendations on kindergarten activity books that can be purchased online.
Och Gonzalez has been an early childhood educator in Manila for over 20 years. As a preschool teacher and grade school academic coach, she has worked with young children and their families to achieve learning goals and address developmental concerns. She has created reading programs that aim to develop literacy skills and a love for reading in young children. She holds an MA in Education from the Ateneo de Manila University and is also the author of the children’s book, “Every Sunday.”
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Experts featured in this article only reviewed the content of our buying guide. They had no part in the selection or ranking of products or services listed.
The products and services listed are ranked independently by the editorial team based on the points mentioned in our thoroughly researched buying guide (as of 01-16-2023).
Here are some points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Kindergarten introduces kids to a schedule where segments of time are allotted to different learning domains. These include basic literacy or Reading and Writing, Math, Science & Physical Health, Social Studies, Values Education, Music, and Arts.
While most kids at this age have already mastered reciting the alphabet; in Kindergarten, the new goals are to teach them how to write the letters, both capital and lowercase, and to read the sound of each letter, and eventually putting them together to form words.
The best way to achieve this is through worksheets with patterns to trace and word association games such as matching and coloring. Most of the time, simple drawings or illustrations help kids to understand or comprehend words. In addition, these activity books develop their fine motor skills as well - specifically their pencil and crayon grip.
A good activity book for reading and writing should contain a well-rounded and varied set of exercises that can address different skills, such as phonics, vocabulary-building, and simple comprehension exercises. Make sure that the text and instructions are clear and concise; too many words on a page can be overwhelming for a kindergartener.
Afterward, your child can write down the new words they learned on pieces of paper and create a “Word Wall,” a collection of words tacked on a wall in their room. This strategy is great for helping kids see patterns in words and reinforcing often-used sight words.
The same technique applies when learning about numbers. By the age of 5, kids are very familiar with counting up to 10, even more. In Kindergarten, the next milestone is to learn how to write these numbers and to start counting objects in order to perform simple math operations like addition and subtraction.
Give your little one activity books that contain number tracing and memory exercises as well as illustrations that will guide them in learning how to count, add and subtract. Aside from counting, you can also introduce concepts such as using the clock and the calendar, and sorting objects according to their size and patterns.
Math activity books are important for kindergarteners because they help to lay the foundation of logical thinking and a sense of reasoning. When choosing a math activity book, make sure that the illustrations are fun and simple and that the exercises are doable with a minimum of supervision. You can also pair up the book with manipulatives to help connect math concepts in a more concrete way.
Pick-up activity books that will introduce your kids to their environment. For example, look for books with engaging exercises about plants, animals, and the weather. This will familiarize them with objects and living creatures that are outside your home.
It also helps to offer books that explain the five senses and other basic human body parts, so they will begin to understand how their body works. You can also provide activity books that teach good health habits such as taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and washing their hands.
Science books are a great way to introduce your little one to the larger world and spark their curiosity about their environment. Just remember to choose age-appropriate books and feature concepts that they can easily grasp and are concrete for them, such as plants, animals, and the weather. After they’ve done a few pages on a particular lesson, you could follow it up with a simple real-life experiment to whet their appetite for science even more.
When it comes to teaching them about good manners and different emotions, storybooks do a great job of highlighting the importance of moral values such as honesty, respect for the elderly, patience, and self-expression, whether joy, fear, sadness, or anger. Find books with detachable components or embossed features that they can pretend-play with while reading.
Apart from modeling good behavior, you can reinforce values and manners through storybooks. This is a wonderful way to help your child begin thinking of people other than themselves. In kindergarten, children are still largely concerned with their own needs and feelings, but they are also beginning to understand relationships and form friendships.
Storybooks can help them see the impact of behavior on other people, as well as the idea that actions have consequences. They can also teach kids how to identify and label their emotions, which will eventually lead to better communication as they grow up.
Of course, your kids will greatly appreciate activity books that involve drawing, coloring, and painting. These allow them to use their creativity while practicing their pencil or crayon grip. It will also familiarize them with different colors, shapes, and textures.
Meanwhile, books with built-in musical instruments help improve hand-eye coordination, allow them to practice self-expression and improve their memory by singing-along to a few nursery songs.
Activity books for creativity do more than just keep your little ones busy. They also develop fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, and thinking outside the box. When kids are given outlets for self-expression and creative endeavors, they grow in confidence, imagination, and emotional intelligence. They learn how to view things in different ways and make sense of the world around them.
While it’s vital to prioritize the content or subject matter of activity books, you must also ensure that the physical attributes of these books are compatible with your five-year-old.
First is considering the form of activity books that will catch their attention. If your little one is in the mood, allow them to select or shop for books with you. You can show them different options from looking at the monitor or laptop. This way you’ll know which format appeals to them the most.
There are a variety of activity book formats these days – you can choose between writing worksheets with traceable letters and words, dry-erase boards that you can reuse over and over, sticker or Velcro sheets for matching exercises as well as interactive books with pop-ups, built-in dolls, arts and crafts supplies, and musical instruments.
Letting your child have a say in the choice of an activity book is one way to set them up for success. When they are invested right from the start, you have a better chance of getting them excited to work on their books. You could start by pre-selecting a number of books, any one of which would be a good choice, and ask your child to pick one or two from that selection. That way, you can still make sure that the one they pick also meets their needs.
When it comes to size, bigger is better. It will be easier for your kids to practice reading, writing, tracing, and coloring if the texts and illustrations or images are large and clear. Since this is your child’s first time to try worksheets, it will be less overwhelming if the drawings are simple and not overly intricate.
Look for books with text laid out in simple, spaced-out, and rounded font types because these figures make for better recognition. Remember that the eyes of new readers get tired more easily because they are just learning how to navigate text from left to right and from one line to the next. Pages full of text may be too cluttered and overwhelming for them to finish.
Click to purchase
Learning is Fun
Fun With Reading and Maths Series
Best for Introducing Early Reading and Math
Learning is Fun
Fun With Writing Series
Easy-To-Follow Patterns for Tracing and Writing
First Sticker Book – Your Body
Sticker Book to Help Familiarize Them With the Human Body
How to Tell the Time: A lift-the-flap guide to telling the time
Learn the Basics of Using a Clock and Encourage Kids to Create and Follow a Schedule
My First Coloring Book of Alphabet
Help Them Master Their ABCs and Coloring Skills
Animal Sticker Book
For Animal Lover Kiddies - Help Introduce Them to Different Kinds of Furry Friends
Seek & Find My Community
Help Them Get to Know the Community While Expanding the Vocabulary
Usborne Wipe Clean
Great for Improving Counting Skills, Creativity, and Observation
My First Music Book - Xylophone
For the Little Musician - Sing and Play Along With a Mini Xylophone
Learning is Fun
Fun With Science Series
Fun Introduction to Science for the Little Einstein
This activity book series includes Early Reading, Early Maths along with Colors, Numbers & Patterns workbooks. It features a variety of engaging exercises for writing and number skills as well as identifying colors and shapes.
It comes as a set of 3 books and contains clear texts and large images for easy reading, tracing, and coloring. These paperback books will greatly help in practicing your little one’s pencil & crayon grip, hand-eye coordination and expanding their vocabulary.
This paperback series comes as a set of 3, which includes workbooks on writing small letters, capital letters, and numbers.
The workbooks have plenty of easy-to-follow tracing patterns to guide your little ones as they start to learn to write along a straight line. They also contain blank spaces for freehand writing in case they want to practice without the outlines.
The activity books likewise feature word association tasks such as matching exercises and coloring activities. Moreover, the Fun with Writing Numbers workbook has additional pages dedicated to improving counting skills.
This activity book contains over 150 stickers, which your little one can use in learning more about the human body.
It features cheerful and colorful illustrations about body parts, the five senses, reactions of the body such as hunger and feeling hot or cold, as well as clothes and activities that the body needs to remain in good physical shape.
Of course, kids will enjoy playing with the stickers, but more importantly, this activity book provides a fun way to build your child’s vocabulary along with promoting a healthy lifestyle.
This activity book features an actual clock with moveable hands to teach kids about telling and writing the time. It is a lift-the-flap book, fully interactive, and also includes puzzles and quizzes.
It explains, in a fun and colorful way, how time is measured according to seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years. Moreover, it encourages kids to create and follow a schedule when it comes to their daily routine such as eating breakfast and brushing their teeth.
This 2-in-1 workbook allows your kids to master the alphabet even more and to practice their coloring skills as well. The book will also help develop their hand-eye coordination and color recognition. It has simple illustrations along with big and clear letters for easy reading.
To complete the My First Coloring Book series, you can also purchase the other variants about animals, fruits & vegetables, first words, colors, and opposites.
This sticker book is a creative and fun way of learning about different kinds of animals along with their appropriate shelters or homes.
It contains over 150 stickers of farm animals, both parent and baby versions – perfect for storytime and pretend play. The sticker book allows kids to get to know their environment and nature in general while staying safely at home.
This board book contains vibrant and colorful illustrations of people or occupations, buildings and items that one would see in a community. It includes images of a police car, a fire truck and a fireman as well as an ambulance, a doctor and a hospital, and much more.
It serves as a fun dictionary for kids where they can learn more words and their simple definitions by looking – specifically searching for the images in the book. Aside from expanding their vocabulary, the book also helps in sharpening your little one’s concentration and matching skills.
To complete the Seek & Find series, you can also purchase the Seek & Find Home – to take a closer look at furniture and items in a household; Seek & Find Season – to know more about objects that are associated with Winter, Spring Summer and Fall; and Seek & Find Around the World – to learn more about famous tourist spots & animals from different countries.
This activity book contains puzzles, connect-the-dots exercises, spot-the-difference games, mazes, and drawing pages that revolve around taking care of a garden.
What’s more, it is a dry-erase board so your little one can play with the book over and over again. This gives them the opportunity to practice and develop their marker grip. It also helps in improving their counting skills, creativity and observation.
If you want more themes, Usborne has a nice selection of Wipe Clean books about the alphabet, phonics, lowercase letters, numbers, and animals.
Your little one will surely enjoy the built-in xylophone in this musical book. It comes with lyrics and notes of well-known nursery rhymes that they can tap and sing along to. It comes in a die-cut board book format for more durability.
It also has 6 bonus song buttons that you can press to play the songs. These include Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Incy Wincy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. You can also purchase the My First Music Book - Guitar and the My First Drum to complete the mini band pretend play.
This set of 3 activity books offer a fun way of introducing simple Science topics to your little ones. The series includes workbooks about animals, the human body, and the environment or things around us.
It features matching exercises, fill-in-the-blank quizzes as well as large illustrations to make learning about science more exciting.
Make learning more fun for your kindergartener with the right techniques! Learn from Och Gonzalez as she answers some of the most asked questions on the internet.
When doing an activity book, children should be focused. Developing focus, after all, is one of the main goals of activity books. Allowing them to play while accomplishing an activity book would be counterproductive since they would be distracted and find it difficult to focus on the task.
What you can do, though, is to set short breaks for play in between periods of time allotted for working on a book. That way, they can still benefit from the structure of a schedule yet also enjoy some flexibility.
Ideally, parents should give their children some space to practice working on their own. Hovering is never useful, as it prevents your child from working independently.
A good practice is to have a kitchen timer, set an allotted time, and tell them you’ll be back when the timer rings. However, when you see them having difficulty, you could check-in and ask if they need help. If they do ask for support, you can sit down and offer guidance.
Read below for some workbooks recommended by Early Childhood Educator Och Gonzalez and why she recommends them!
Sight words are a difficult concept for little ones to grasp because they involve memorization and constant practice. This book offers hundreds of pages for learning sight words in a fun way.
The variety of exercises also develops skills in other domains, like critical and logical thinking, fine motor skills, and creativity. The text is large enough and easy to read as well, so your child can accomplish this with minimal supervision.
This book is a well-rounded one since it contains different kinds of activities to keep children engaged. There are exercises in various areas, such as reading, writing, counting, science concepts, logical thinking, and shapes. Expect to have more challenging but still perfectly doable activities with this book.
Kids can use the stickers included to mark their progress on a map enclosed in the book, which helps develop map-reading skills, as well as a sense of personal accomplishment. Because of the variety of activities, children will benefit from the different types of instructions that they have to understand and follow.
Creating a mini library for your kids is a great supplement to their online learning sessions. Reading books with them, along with offering coloring books and card games, promotes brain development as well as sparks their imagination. More importantly, this invites them to spend more time with the family instead of focusing on their gadgets.
Click the article links below to see our recommended books and card games for kids that you can purchase online.
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
No. 1：Learning is Fun｜Fun With Reading and Maths Series｜(Set of 3)
No. 2：Learning is Fun｜Fun With Writing Series ｜(Set of 3)
No. 3：Usborne｜First Sticker Book – Your Body
No. 4：DK｜How to Tell the Time: A lift-the-flap guide to telling the time
No. 5：Smart Kids｜My First Coloring Book of Alphabet
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