10 Best Kids Educational & Learning Books Reviewed in 2018

From the moment they are born, your child is not only ready to learn but eager to gain knowledge about the world around them. We, as humans, are born with little-predefined knowledge. We have to struggle to learn everything that we do from walking to talking to simply holding our heads up on our own. Evolution has given us the best possible tool to help overcome this intellectual shortcoming, a desire to learn, a hunger for education, a need to understand.

If you give an infant a toy, their first instinct will most likely be to put it in their mouths. This may seem silly or even senseless but babies learn primarily through the sensation of touch. They have to feel the texture of an object in order to understand it. In a simple way, they have to lick it to learn!

As your child grows, their ability to understand and learn increases as does their mental capacity for education. At the same time, their ability to focus doesn’t quite make the same trip. No longer will the simple toys of infancy hold your little one’s attention long enough for them to gain any useful knowledge. Updating the medium of their education to something bright and colorful like books is an ideal way to continue to feed their need for learning and encourage their cognitive growth.

Studies show that talking and reading to your child is essential for the development of early language skills. Reading to your little one from infancy can actually stimulate the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning how to speak, how to read, and even how to socialize. Educational books allow you to take a step further by involving your preschooler directly in the learning process.

Educational books come in all shapes, sizes, and topics. Some help your child develop the fine-motor skills necessary to form letters and eventually words, creating the basis to learn how to write. This can go hand in hand with those workbooks that focus on sight words and alphabet skills which help your little one recognize written language and the forms that letters can take. This can improve literacy and build vocabulary skills. Other educational books may present specific challenges such as introducing music or math concepts that can boost their brainpower.

Above all, books designed for a specific educational purpose will help prepare your child for more formal schooling. Whether they are currently attending preschool, plan to start kindergarten in a few years, or are gearing up for homeschooling, these books will provide an expectation and foundation on which more education can be compounded. Basically, they learn how to learn.

We have gathered several unique educational resource workbooks designed specifically for the preschool to kindergarten age group from across the vast (world wide) web. These books touch on a number of different subjects all geared towards helping your little one prepare and learn as much as they can while their mind is at its most flexible. We hope that one of our Top 10 Best Educational Books and Learning Books can aid your child in their quest for understanding.

Last Updated: October 4, 2018
By Amanda Milewski:

Educational books can give your preschooler a jump on academic success and/or supplement your school-age child's skills and understanding of concepts. This page has recently been reviewed and updated to ensure that products are still relevant, available and cost-effective.

Our Top 3 Picks

Piano K Piano Game
  • Piano K Piano Game
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Self-Teaching
  • Price: See Here
Mead Success In Preschool
  • Mead Success In Preschool
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Includes Stickers
  • Price: See Here
Lots of Letter Tracing Practice
  • Lots of Letter Tracing Practice
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • For Preschool Kids
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Kids Educational & Learning Books

Educational and Fun

The 10 books we selected as the best learning books for preschoolers and kids are educational and fun to use. We believe it is important to establish a positive connection with learning and enjoyment, especially for young children beginning to learn with educational books. There is a massive amount of research that shows learning to be more effective when the learner is having fun. For example, a study published in the College Teaching journal found that students could recall information from a previous lecture more effectively when the lecture included humor on relevant subject matter than when the lecture was not fun or funny. All of the books on our list involve activities and exercises to teach young children skills and knowledge, and all of them include the essential component of fun to keep them engaged and to increase the effectiveness of learning. Whether the book incorporates a fun theme such as Preschool Scholar Ages 3-5’s zoo theme or colorful cartoon illustrations in activity examples, every learning book on our list ensures a fun and encouraging learning experience for your child.

Research-Based for Age Appropriateness & Learning Techniques

Child development is a subfield of psychology that studies children’s socio-emotional, language, cognitive, and physical development. Over years of researching children’s capabilities and growth, developmental psychologists have formed the concept of developmental milestones. Developmental milestones mark the skills and tasks the majority of children can do at a certain age. The learning books included on our list are age-appropriate in that they include activities and lessons that the majority of children of the specified age range are capable of. For example, some of the developmental milestones expected for 3 year old children include the ability to follow directions with two or three steps, understand prepositions, and display pen control. While some of the books on our list are not appropriate for preschoolers as young as 3 years, the learning books that include 3 year olds in the specified age range are age-appropriate based on the research-based developmental milestones. Of course, every child is unique in what they experience and in their level of development, but these learning books are designed to cater to the majority of children in the age range specified by the author or publisher.

Not only is the age-appropriateness of the selected learning books backed by research, but so are the various techniques used in their activities and exercises. Repetition is a technique proven by research to promote efficient and effective learning of both skills and knowledge. Repetition involves practicing a new skill many times, over time. Repetition has been shown to strengthen the connections between neurons in the brain that represent a skill or piece of information. The stronger the neural connection, the more ingrained and natural the skill becomes. Research shows that repetition is effective in increasing the speed at which a skill is learned, reinforcing confidence and accelerating development. Many of the workbooks on our list include practice pages for young children to use repetition. For example, Lots and Lots of Letter Tracing Practice! is a learning book on our list that uses research-based repetition techniques as its primary teaching method. Repetition is just one example of the many research-based learning techniques incorporated in the activities in each of the books on our list. Every learning book is carefully curated to ensure swift and successful learning through its activities and educational material.

Learning Material

The learning books on our list instill knowledge and skills covering a wide range of subjects. Some books are subject-specific, focusing on teaching young children all about a certain topic. Other books on the list are thick, comprehensive workbooks with hundreds of pages covering multiple subjects. The subject-specific learning books are ideal for helping children who are less inclined at learning a particular subject, or for those children who are excited and passionate about a specific topic. The comprehensive workbooks can be used as part of a homeschooling curriculum, as they cover multiple subjects just as traditional schooling does. The comprehensive workbooks are also a great option for using in preparation for kindergarten, during summer breaks from school, or as supplementary practice for enhanced learning. The learning material in the books we selected is accurate, age-appropriate, and foundational. What is learned through using these books will help your child move to more advanced learning by building upon these basic concepts.

Successful Learning Tools

Most importantly, the books on this list are successful learning tools for teaching young children new skills and information. The books are all rated highly by parents and educators. Reviews acclaim these learning books as transformative and effective for the children who use them. Every child is unique and has an individualized approach to learning. The traditional educational system does not necessarily cater to every child’s needs. For example, many children do not respond well to learning by listening to a teacher lecture or explain concepts. Instead, they might do better with workbooks that allow them to work through activities that teach the same concepts that teachers deliver in lectures. These learning books incorporate many different types of activities to teach concepts. Hands-on learning where the child can move at his or her own pace can be far more beneficial than forcing them to learn the “traditional” way. By including a variety of approaches to teaching, these learning books have high success rates as children can grasp new skills and ideas in a way that works best for them.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What age should my child start to use learning books like these?

A: Learning books specify the age range appropriate for the subject matter and level of difficulty. Each book has a different recommendation, but typically children become ready for learning with workbooks around the age of 3 years.

Q: Is it better to buy a comprehensive workbook or a learning book that focuses on one topic?

A: It truly depends on your child. The comprehensive workbooks cover many subjects, while other workbooks zoom in and teach your child all about one subject. Buying a comprehensive book makes it so you only need to make one purchase for a variety of information, while a single-subject book can help your child learn a skill or concept they enjoy or maybe have difficulty with.

Q: Are these learning books textbooks?

A: No. These learning books are not traditional textbooks describing information. These learning books all involve activities and exercises for your child to actively participate in learning. Most are workbooks that provide spaces for your child to fill in responses.

Q: Where can I purchase these learning books?

A: Every item on the list has a link that connects you to Amazon where the book can be purchased online. If you prefer to buy a book in person, check your local bookstores to see if they carry the book you are interested in.

Q: Can my child use these learning books alone or do I need to help?

A: It depends on the book and on your child’s individual level of development. Most of the books on this list are targeted for young children between the ages of 3 and 6 years. That being said, many kids will need assistance in reading instructions or in understanding how to use the book properly.

Q: Educational books versus storybooks, what’s better for my child’s mental growth?

A: This is a question without a definitive answer. Both styles of books are beneficial to your child’s ability to learn. Storybooks present an opportunity to stir your child’s imagination, to spark their creativity and their drive to learn by allowing them to emphasize and experience a fantastical world that is different yet similar to their own. Educational books or workbooks provide different learning opportunities geared more toward a specific developmental skill that they may be struggling with, such as addition or writing.

Q: Will educational books help encourage my child to read?

A: The short answer is yes. Any books, all books, will encourage your child to read. The more you read to your little one and with your little one, they more insight they gain into language, culture, social skills, creativity, the list goes on. Educational books may help your child overcome specific adversities that may be holding them back from their true potential. If your child is struggling with reading because they don’t recognize all of the letters, or perhaps because they are having difficulty with specific sounds or shapes or colors, this can be frustrating and may damage their self-esteem. Providing them with an educational book that focuses on this problem area can help improve their confidence and lead them back to the joys of reading.

Sources

  1. Children's Therapy & Family Resource Centre, Preschool Developmental Milestones, Informative Article,
  2. PBS Parents, Grade-by-Grade Learning: Preschool, PBS Article,
  3. Vanessa Levin, How to Teach Handwriting Skills in Preschool, Informative Article,
  4. Professional Learning Board, learning by repetition does it work, Blog Article,
  5. Growth Engineering Staff, Why Fun in Learning Works Better Than Dull Learning, Blog Post,