31 boredom-busting books for kids

Is there a car journey looming ominously in your future - or are you just wondering how you'll fill the dark rainy days? Mumsnetters share the books that have kept their children entertained for hours

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Activity Books

The Gruffalo Activity Books

Julia Donaldson's classic tale is a firm favourite among young children, and this activity book won't disappoint. Dot-to-dot activities, puzzles, and stickers will entertain young Gruffalo fans for hours. 4+

I-Spy On a Car Journey

Whether you're on the beach or on a train, these newly updated iconic little books are great for sparking conversation and keeping kids occupied. Plus, collect 1,000 points and you can send off to get a certificate and I-Spy badge. 3+

Star Wars Droids activity book

If your DC is a little Star Wars-obsessed, this book is a winner. Newly released this summer, it celebrates the loveable droids R2D2 and C-3PO, from their first appearance in The Phantom Menace through to The Return of the Jedi. 4+

The Great Fairy Tale Search

A beautifully illustrated search book brimming with enchanting scenes from kids' favourite fairy tales. From Cinderella's glass slipper and Jack's magic beans to Little Red Riding Hood lost in the forest, there are plenty of fun, familiar characters, creatures and objects to spot on every page. 3+

The Anti-Boredom Activity Book

Delightfully wacky activities designed to keep even the pickiest of children busy for hours on end. This one will get them writing, colouring and doodling to their heart's content. 5+

Small enough to fit in a child's backpack, but diverse enough to last a whole holiday. Each tear-out page in the little book is a different activity for kids to puzzle through. 6+

Write Your Own Story Book

Perfect for young wordsmiths, this spiral-bound book will inspire children to delve into their imagination - and will help them practice their writing, too. 8+

Little Cakes and Cookies to Make

If the summer doesn't deliver the sunshine we hope for, get your DCs in the kitchen with this sweet baking book, perfect for aspiring bakers. 5+

Minecraft: The Beginners' Guide

If your kids are Minecraft addicts, they'll love this indispensable guide to conquering the overworld. 8+

Lego is a sure-fire way to keep children entertained for hours. If they need a bit of inspiration, this Lego play book is packed with ideas for new builds and adventures. 5+

Sticker Books

Starting School Sticker Book

A gentle introduction to school life, this simple sticker book is perfect for children starting school in September. From packing a school bag to getting ready for PE, each page in this book covers a different aspect of the school day. 2 +

Pepper Pig Super Stickers

Love her or loathe her, Peppa is back with another sticker book, including over 1,000 stickers and activities. If there is a Peppa fan in your house, this is sure to go down a treat. 2+

Shopkins Strawberry Kiss

Shopkins fans will love this activity sticker book with scented - yes, SCENTED - stickers! 3+

First Sticker Book - Airport

Perfect for long-haul flights and waits in the terminal, this one will keep little hands busy if you're travelling by plane this summer. 2+

Diggers Sticker Book

This fantastic picture book for truck-mad kids shows them what it's like to build a road and work on a demolition site - plus they can discover dozens of new diggers. 2+

Sticker Dolly Dressing - Holiday and Travel 

With over 60 characters to dress, this sticker book offers hours of entertainment for a fashion-forward child (or a child who's keen on detail.) 2+

Deadly Animals Ultimate Sticker Book

Packed with fearsome predators and deadly creepy crawlies, this sticker book is not for the fainthearted, but brilliant entertainment for budding zoologists. 3+

Colouring Books

Part story, part colouring book, this detailed fairy story provides hours of colouring. 5+

Harry Potter: Magical Places

Harry Potter fans will be pleased to see the release of a new colouring book series; this one explores the magical locations of Hogwarts and beyond. And if one book is not enough, look out for the second in the series: Magical Creatures. 5+

The Monster Colouring and Activity Book

This monstrous activity book will appeal to all lovers of gruesome creatures. 8+

Doodle Chaos: Volume Three

From Philippines-based artist Irvin Ranada comes the third book in the Zifflin Doodle series. Expect more fantastical landscapes and chaotic scenes to colour. 11+


Get kids doodling with this fantastic compendium of pictures to colour and complete. 6+

The Amazing Creative Colouring Book

Geometric patterns and kaleidoscopic designs fill the pages of this beautiful colouring book. Fun and simple enough for younger children, it's a great follow-up to the popular Creative Colouring Book. 5+

Where's Wally: The Colouring Book

Mumsnetters say 'This is a lovely book - it has a colourful front cover and oodles of pages with the added challenge of trying to find Wally in each one.' 4+

Millie Marotta's Wild Savannah

In Wild Savannah, expect more of Millie Marotta's intricate animal landscapes. Probably best suited for older children and teens - or if colouring is your idea of fun, pack this one for you. 11+

Puzzle Books


My First Maze Book

A collection of simple mazes for small children - the sweet illustrations make this a lovely alternative for long journeys or rainy days. 3+

The Rainy Day Puzzle Book

Puzzle books are often recommended on our camping Talk boards, and this one is both compact and crammed full of activities, ranging from word searches to mazes and riddles. 5+

Wipe Clean Puzzle Book

This wipe clean spiral-bound book is perfect for young children who are still getting to grips with puzzle books. Plus once they've mastered it, you can simply wipe it clean and start again. 3+

The Pocket Quiz Book

A compact little quiz book to test the whole family's general knowledge – an ideal travel companion. 9+

Brain Games for Clever Kids

A paperback-sized book filled with over 100 brain games that get progressively harder. Peppered with a few hints and tips along the way, these games really are for clever kids - some might even have the grown-ups stumped. 10+

Sudoku for Kids

A small book of sudoku puzzles that increase in difficulty with each chapter - a great introduction to this fiendish type of number game. 6+

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Last updated: over 1 year ago