newly released spring activity books & games for kids

Contest alert! You can enter to win your choice of one of the fun activity books listed below. Click here for full details and to enter to win. The contest is open to Canadian residents 18+ and runs until March 12th, 2018. 

Spring Break is almost here and we can’t wait! We love extra the time with our kiddos and we’ve planned lots of fun outings to do as a family. But for those days spent at home, traveling, or hiding from the inevitable rain, we’ve stocked up on some new books, games, and activities.

We had the opportunity to try out two fun games as part of Raincoast Book’s #PlayTestShare program, plus we’ve got the low-down on a few other new releases that fit the “keep kids busy and engaged” bill.

Alpha Shapes by Chronicle Books


We love that Alpha Shapes introduces our youngest (3) to shapes and letters and while also giving our oldest (7) the opportunity to practice spelling whole words. The kids have enjoyed creating towers and castles out of the blocks too — who knew you could do so many things with colourful shapes? Learning while having fun, now that’s a winner in our books. Clean up tip: flip over the inner letter paper for a guide on how to layout the blocks so they all fit neatly back inside the box.

Llamanoes illustrated by Shyama Golden


Dominoes will never be the same again — thanks to some pretty goofy llamas! Llamanoes is a fantastic and fun matching game. Match heads and tails of Llama-nardo da Vinci or Super Llama until you run out of llama tiles. This game is a fantastic boredom-buster and a great way to develop matching and fine motor skills. Our favourite part? Our kiddos (ages 7 and 3) will happily play this game together. Now that’s a Spring Break win!

Here are a few other great newly released Spring Break games and activity books from Chronicle Books and Laurence King.

after dinnerAfter Dinner Amusements: Which Would You Choose by Chronicle Books
With 50 hilarious and thought-provoking questions asking players to choose between two equally good, unpleasant, or absurd scenarios, this revealing party game leads to interesting conversations and good fun for all ages!

pass the parcelPass the Parcel: A Party Game by Louise Lockhart
Players take turns unwrapping the parcel to uncover cheeky dares that will soon have the whole group beaming. Under the last layer, there’s an envelope containing a special surprise!

bob the artist

Bob The Artist: Dominoes illustrated by Marion Deuchars
Bob the Artist loves to paint with brightly colored splashes, but he has got into a bit of a mess. Help Bob clear up his paints by matching the colors and numbers in this fun game of dominoes.

mystery mansionThe Mystery Mansion illustrated by Lucille Clerc
Fire your imagination with these fun storytelling cards. Reviving the Victorian craze for ‘myrioramas’, the 20 picture cards can be placed in any order to create seamless scenes. Almost infinite combinations of cards provide endless storyscaping possibilities.


Crocodile and Friends Animal Memory Game by Natacha Andriamirado, illustrated by Delphine Renon
Fossil, a good-natured crocodile who just wants some peace and quiet, quickly won the hearts of children everywhere in the delightful picture book The Quiet Crocodile. Now Fossil and his friends are back, ready to play, in this fun memory game. The fifty-two cards feature twenty-six charming illustrations of Fossil and his many friends, nested in a handsome keepsake box.

pop artDraw Like an Artist: Pop Art by Patricia Geis
When Pop Art burst on the art scene in the 1950s as a reaction against abstract expressionism, it found instant favor with its colorful use of images from advertising, signs, soup cans, Coke bottles, and even comic strips. This playfulness is front and center in Draw Like an Artist: Pop Art : a collection of eighteen fun and colorful activities for aspiring Warhols, Hockneys, and Lichtensteins ages ten and up, or anyone who enjoys working with color, pattern, and pop-culture imagery, and gaining a better understanding of the 20th century’s most popular art movement.

in the ocean

In the Ocean by Olivia Cosneau
The world’s oceans are home to many different species and plants, from tiny organisms like plankton to the world’s largest animal, the blue whale. Deep down in the seas’ depth, you will even find some monstrous-looking creatures that seem to have come straight out of a fairy tale. Did you know, for example, that male anglerfish feed on the female’s blood? And is it true that the giant clam can trap a diver’s leg? Or have you ever heard of fish that hitch a ride on sharks?

Three cheers for Spring Break! We hope you and your kiddos have a fantastic two weeks. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win one of the great activity books mentioned in this article.

Llamanoes and Alpha Shapes provided by Raincoast Books for consideration.

By: Michelle Hughes

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