If you’ve ever watched a little one ditch their toy to turn the cardboard box it came in into a space ship, you have seen the proof that kids have crazy imaginations. You’d better strike while the iron is hot and inspire them to stay creative. This whole creativity thing is something we believe pretty in strongly here at Brit + Co, and we hope these books will inspire you to feel that #iamcreative spirit too. Below is a collection of books for kids and their parents to share. With activities, stories and projects, these will make for quality family time and inspire a lifetime of making. So ditch the TV and get to reading and making with this handy list of books.
1. Maker Dad ($20): Editor of boingboing Mark Frauenfelder is pretty much exactly what the title of this book promises. And in the pages of this awesome resource, he’ll help you be the same. What’s extra rad is the Daddy-daughter angle in this book. Because really, antigravity jars aren’t just for boys. (Ages 6+)
2. Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors ($22): Even the smallest tots can be inspired to get their hands dirty and invent. Help them develop the skills they’ll need with 55 different projects involving slime, toys and even a hot bowl of soup. (Ages 4+)
3. How to Build a Hovercraft ($25): It’s the perfect book for the little maker in your home. Work with your kiddos to make things like air cannons, magnetic motors and, of course, hovercrafts, using supplies you can actually keep in a home. It’s DIY, mad scientist style. (Ages 9+)
4. Insterstellar Cinderella ($17): Makers and feminists alike will love this retelling of Cinderella, in which our princess in question is a genius spaceship mechanic. She doesn’t just go to a party in this retelling; she uses her rad maker skills to bail out the prince. (Ages 4-8)
5. Origami Playhouse ($19): Don’t just play with a dollhouse — make one. This little book and kit will help your kid fold all kinds of neat, domestic shapes out of origami paper. (Ages 6+)
6. Project Kid ($23): Step-by-step photographs make these 100 projects not only fun, but easy to follow. It’s one of those books that’s so exciting and accessible for kids that it’ll make watching TV a plan B. (Ages 8+)
7. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes ($17) If there’s one lesson little makers need to learn early, it’s that making mistakes is a big part of making. With bright colors and reassuring mishaps, this is the perfect book to inspire creativity in tots. (Ages 3+)
8. The Mysterious Benedict Society ($15): There are four main characters in this mystery, and each one represents a different kind of intelligence. One kid can remember everything he sees and hears. One kid asks great questions. One, and our favorite, can invent anything. (Ages 10+)
9. Harold and the Purple Crayon ($7): Because seriously, how could we feature a collection of kid’s books to inspire the next generation of #iamcreative without including this classic? It’s a moral we can all get behind: The greatest adventure we’ll take is the one that we’ll make.
10. Pie ($7): The main character of this small town mystery is all about baking. And your little maker will be too after reading this book. At the end of every chapter is a recipe for a different kind of pie — both literary and delicious. (Ages 8+)
11. The Day the Crayons Quit ($18): Basically, any book collection for kids should include something written or illustrated by Oliver Jeffers or you’re just doing it wrong. This book will encourage your kiddos to think outside the crayon box. (Ages 4+)
12. Handy Dad: 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids ($25): This one is the perfect Father’s Day gift for the hands-on dad. It’s an especially good gift for parents who have a kid who cannot, does not, will not sit still. Many of the projects listed in here have a decidedly physical aspect. (Ages 9+)
13. Rosie Revere Engineer ($17): Rosie Revere is talented, but she’s also created something that didn’t work. Deflated, she finds herself too scared to try again. Luckily she has an awesome (and iconic) auntie who talks her through the best lesson for makers: You cannot succeed if you do not try. (Ages 4+)
14. Mix it Up! ($16): Teach your kiddie the basics of color mixing with this fun, tactile book! From the genius who brought us Press Here!, this book encourages getting your hands covered in paint and full of creativity. (Ages 3+)
15. Bake Sale ($17): This duo of besties (an eggplant and a cupcake) have big plans for a sweet vacation and decide to use bake sales as a way to achieve it. Complete with recipes for things like brownies and even doggie biscuits, this story is perfect for the little entrepreneurial baker in your family. (Ages 6+)
What activities do you wish you could get your kids into? Let us know in the comments below!