Books for Christmas 2015 Part 3 - our ten favourite children's activity books for Christmas

All of us in the bookshop are passionate about getting children to read - but we're also keen to emphasise that a book can be so much more than a story. It might be a gateway to getting creative, learning to play (or even write) a game, or stimulating a desire to get up, get outdoors and get your hands mucky. Or you just might want five minutes peace post Christmas dinner!

The key word here is 'activity' - and each year we try and pick some truly inspirational books and games that fire up the imagination and get children active. Our shop is full of inspiration at the moment, so to whet your appetite here are a few of our favourites this year.

The Epic Book of Epicness – Adam Frost - £6.99
After last year's 'Awesome Book of Awesomeness' comes Adam Frost's latest collection of brain-scrambling facts and wacky activities 'The Epic Book of Epicness'. Learn how to hard-boil an Ostrich Egg (serving suggestion: feeds 20 people), send an intergalactic message to other planets, and calculate how many zombies there would be if everyone who ever died on Earth came back to life (clue: it's a lot).

Learn where on Earth you need to go to see a red waterfall, discover which sharks you can safely swim with (and those you can't) and all the things an elephant can do with its trunk. Perfect for a wide primary-school age-range, reluctant readers and anyone, male or female, who loves FACTS!

Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding – Rosie Dickens - £9.99
We love inspiring children to code in the shop - we help run a primary school coding club, and we ran a huge half-term coding competition in the shop (which you can still enter).

Coding is now a compulsory topic in the National Curriculum, and Usborne have used over 30 years of experience writing coding books for kids to produce a wonderful, interactive guide to information and communication technology, which explains what goes on inside computers and what makes them do what they do. With lots of flaps to lift and look beneath, fact-hungry children will devour the fascinating data contained in this bright and engaging non-fiction book.

Pigs In Pants – Orchard Toys - £8.50
We're really proud of our Orchard Toys section, and we've a wide range of children's toys that are fun to play, but get little minds working and learning.

It's safe to say that 'Pigs In Pants' is a big favourite at the moment, perfect for children aged 4+. If you can match the pants, you get to keep them, and the player with the most pairs at the end is the winner. Fun to play and share together.

Belle and Boo Christmas Sticker Fun – Mandy Sutcliffe - £4.99
Belle and Boo love Christmas and want you to come and join in the fun as they build a snowman, decorate a the tree and bake some spice biscuits. There are lots of things to do: colouring, sticking and games. Packed with fun for the little Belle in your life.

Personalised Friendship Bracelets – Klutz - £9.99
Almost no-one does child-friendly crafting inspiration like Klutz. Whether it's Clay Charms, Nail Art or Finger Knitting, we've chosen 'Friendship Bracelets' as our top recommend. It contains everything you need to make a gift for your 'bestie' (we're down with the kids here) but it could be for your Granny...or even your cat! This wonderful kit has all you need to make intricate personalised bracelets with over 45 meters of floss in five different colours and 150+ different designs. With picture by picture easy instructions this will provide hours of satisfying fun.

Nature in a Nutshell for Kids: Over 100 Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes or Less – Jean Potter - £9.99
Getting outside isn't always easy over the Winter months, but this book provides plenty of inspiration to get out into nature. Discover its beauty and wonder all year round with these quick, easy experiments and activities that can be completed in ten fun-filled minutes or less, and the clear step-by-step instructions and illustrations help you get it right every time.

Build A Rocket - Ian Graham - £14.99
We're mad on space at Mostly Books (see here for more details) and this December -all being well - British astronaut Tim Peake flies to the International Space Station - so for the wannabe astronaut in your family, why not get them their very own spaceship? It may only get you to the Moon in your imagination, but it'll be huge fun on the way. At least you'll feel prepared for the trip with this great book and a press out and build model of the mighty Saturn V which took astronauts to the Moon. With fascinating facts and inspirational illustrations, consider it training for a future flight...

(And if you want to see one fully built, come look at the Mostly Books window from the end of November!)

Stampy’s Lovely Book – Egmont - £7.99
For any child that is Minecraft-obsessed this is a must-have book. Stampy Longnose (aka Joseph Garrett) is the YouTube sensation that most people probably have never heard of - but is currently in the top ten of most watched YouTube videos worldwide thanks to his Minecraft "Let's Play" videos. 

In his first book, join Stampy and his favourite friends, Ballistic Squid, Amy Lee and Rosie in this wonderful activity book. It's packed with crafts, puzzles, quest’s, mazes and even cake baking and let’s not forget stories, secrets and tips for making your own YouTube videos. See you in the 'Love Garden'...

Awesome Ideas for Lego - £16.99
Are you ready for the most awesome Lego adventure yet?! With six incredible worlds to travel through there is a whole world of adventure in just one book. From a Chaise Longue to a research lab and an apple to a Steam train. Almost everything you can think of is in here with useful notes and model breakdowns to help you build the world of your dreams.

Slot Together Victorian Dolls House - Anna Milbourne and Barry Ablett - £25 - £20
After last year's slot-together castle was such a hit, this year Usborne has done it again with a slot-together, historically accurate Victorian doll's house, complete with furniture, home accessories and a family of dolls. Press out the sturdy, foamboard pieces, slot together following the simple instructions and you're ready to play. Includes a book about life in a grand Victorian house, providing an insight into the social history of the period. Inspirational, educational, what more would you want? How about £5 off the £25 RRP whilst stocks last - and you can get a glimpse of how it looks in the Mostly Books window!

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