The 11 Best Educational Workbooks of 2022

From math, reading, letters, and more, these workbooks keep learning fun

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Verywell Family / Amelia Manley

Whether you want to prevent learning loss over summer break or you want to keep your kids academically challenged at home, educational workbooks are the ideal solution. From math, letters, reading, and more, there are workbooks out there for any subject. Plus, educational workbooks are portable, making them a simple alternative to learning on the road or on vacation.

Reviewed & Approved

The Letter Tracing Preschool & Kindergarten Workbook helps teach younger kids the letters of the alphabet while strengthening fine motor skills. For in-between grades, we recommend the Summer Brain Quest.

Make sure to choose one that is at the appropriate academic level for your child. Most workbooks have grade-level recommendations to use as a guide, but you can also check reviews, speak with your child’s teacher, and level up or down based on your child’s academic needs. We carefully reviewed any age or grade recommendations, material, value, and engagement when reviewing products.

Here are the best educational workbooks for kids that make learning fun and build skills.

Best for Learning Letters: Letter Tracing Preschool & Kindergarten Workbook

Letter Tracing Workbook

 Walmart

The Letter Tracing Preschool & Kindergarten Workbook ranks high on our list because it's a great beginner's choice to letters, handwriting, and more. Much of learning letters and handwriting is done through repetition and tracing. This book will help teach younger kids the letters of the alphabet while strengthening fine motor skills.

Each letter of the alphabet starts with tracing dotted lines to eventually writing the letters with no lines. The book also has many pages of lined paper for practice writing. 

Best for Preschoolers: The Big Fun Preschool Workbook

Preschool Big Fun Workbook

Highlights

With over 250 pages of fun, this preschool workbook is perfect for kids between ages 3 and 5. Content focuses on ABCs, sight words, counting, patterns, colors, shapes, and much more and is all done in an age-appropriate manner through games, mazes, puzzles, and matching activities.

The last page of this book is a certificate that parents can complete for their kid, rewarding your child for their hard work and new skills.

Best for In Between Grades: Summer Brain Quest

Summer Brain Quest

 Target

Billed as a way to stop the “summer slide,” these books are perfect for kids who have completed one grade and may need to brush up in the summer for the next grade.

Parents can use these in-between books to help in the summer months or anytime. Pick the appropriate grade level to make sure kids can complete what they need to know and then help them begin to level up to the next grade.

Best for Reluctant Readers: Reading Success for Minecrafters: Grades 1-2

Reading Success for Minecrafters

Target 

A kid-friendly workbook that’s best for 1st or 2nd graders, this Minecraft-focused book features all of your Minecraft fan’s favorite characters and concepts. Using something kids love (Minecraft), to reinforce phonics, sight words, comprehension, and more, this book is as fun as it is educational.

Best for Reading Comprehension: Scholastic Success With Reading Tests

Success with Reading

Scholastic 

Leave it to the experts at Scholastic to put together grade-level workbooks based just on reading comprehension. With grade-appropriate, high-interest stories, kids will pair their reading with comprehension-building puzzles, activities, and brain teasers.

The key to reading comprehension is making sure young readers understand the story and are able to grasp the main idea and details, make inferences from the story, draw conclusions, and understand story sequencing.

Best for Math: Math Made Easy: Kindergarten Workbook

Math Made Easy

 Rainbow Resource

Made for grades K through 5th, this series was created by a group of math experts with the aim of making math enjoyable while growing skills and confidence. The grade-appropriate books include a topic review from the previous grade, current grade skills, and a preview of topics from the grade ahead.

While there aren’t teaching tips on the individual pages, there are parent notes and teaching tips in the back. Kids will appreciate the star stickers and chart to mark progress and encourage good work. 

Best for On-the-Go Fun: Oso & Me Coloring Book

Oso & Me

Maisonette

 

A sweet 35-page book, this book is perfect for on-the-go fun. With coloring pages, games like tic-tac-toe, puzzles, a mask, and much more, it’s great for any age kid and will keep them busy in the car, on a plane, or sitting on the couch.

Best for On-the-Go Academics: Brain Quest

Brain Quest Kindergarten Cards

Courtesy of Amazon

Made for preschoolers through 7th graders, Brain Quest is a fast-paced question and answer game series packaged in a bound deck of laminated cards. The grade-level content aligns with national and state standards and is created by educational experts.

These well-made cards are as entertaining as they are educational. At seven inches high and two inches wide, the pack is small enough to throw in a bag or backpack.

Best for Coloring: United States Coloring Book

US Coloring Book

 Dover Publications

This exciting coloring book highlights each of the 50 states. Chock full of information, the book includes ready-to-color images for each state. Kids can color an accurate state map, the state flower, motto, bird, tree, capital, and major rivers and mountains.

Brimming with useful facts and fun-to-color images, this book will help school-age children learn all the states. A full map of the United States is included for a big picture view.

Best for Big Kids: Everything You Need to Ace Math in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide

Big Fat Notebooks

 Workman

Aimed at middle schoolers, this series includes books with "everything you need" for math, science, world history, English, American history, and computer science and coding. This series is built on the idea that the books mimic the notebook of the smartest kid in class.

Each subject’s key concepts are outlined, summarized, and easily digestible. Main ideas are highlighted in neon colors, and doodles in marker showcase tricky concepts. There are helpful mnemonics for shortcuts and recap quizzes for each topic. Even the pickiest and moodiest middle-schooler out there will find these helpful.

Best for Summer Slide: Workbook

Summer Bridge Activities Workbook

Courtesy of Amazon

Made for children in third to fourth grade, this workbook is designed to help kids keep up with schoolwork during the summer to avoid learning loss. This book helps children in all areas: writing, math, science, social studies, and reading.

Children can learn about animals’ behaviors one day while writing a mysterious short story the next. All it takes is 15 minutes a day with this book’s activities which even includes flash cards and stickers.

Final Verdict

If you have a little one who will soon be entering preschool or is in preschool, check out the Big Fun Preschool Workbook (view at Walmart). Content focuses on ABCs, sight words, counting, patterns, colors, shapes, and much more. There’s also the Big Fat Notebook Series (view at Amazon) for children in middle school. Main ideas are highlighted in neon colors and doodles in marker showcase tricky concepts.

What to Look for in Educational Workbooks for Kids

Age and Grade-Level Recommendations

When you’re deciding on a workbook to purchase for your kiddo, you’ll need to make sure it’s on an appropriate learning level for them. Workbooks have grade-level recommendations to give parents and caregivers an idea of where the content is grade-wise.

This information can be used as a guide, but it’s best to check reviews of the workbook and have a conversation with your child’s teacher. This will give you a better idea of where your child is academically and whether you need to stick with your child's current grade level, or go up or down a grade level to meet your child where they are now. And remember that they may need different grade levels for different subjects.

Fun and Engaging

Choosing a workbook that is engaging and entertaining can help ease your little learner into academic activities. Learning doesn’t have to be boring! If you can find a workbook that presents topics in an engaging way and reinforces learning with fun activities, your child will likely be more willing to use it and master its concepts.

Fun activities like a map quest, coloring game, or fitness exercises after they complete a workbook page give kids a break from skills and drills but still offer an educational experience. 

There are also workbooks with themes, like Reading Success for Minecrafters (view at Amazon), that incorporate your child's favorite show, game, or character into their learning. When a workbook has a theme or activities that are fun and engaging, kids won’t feel like they’re just doing extra homework.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What age should my child learn to read?

    Children learn to read generally between the ages of 4 and 6. Some may read earlier or later. The most important thing that parents can do to help their children learn to read is read aloud to them at home. Find books that your child is interested in and make reading fun.

  • How long can kids stay focused on workbooks?

    Children have shorter attention spans than adults. It's important to pay attention to your child's individual stamina. Some kids will only work in five-minute spurts at first. You can slowly increase the length of time your child stays focused to increase their stamina over time.

    Making sure the workbooks are not too easy or too difficult will help your child stay on task. Fifteen- to 20-minute sessions are a good end goal (perhaps a little longer if your child is older).

  • My child writes some letters backwards. Should I be concerned?

    Writing letters backwards, or reversals, is a normal part of writing development. Most kids will get the idea of which way to face their letters over time. Reversals may be a sign of dyslexia if they continue. If you see other signs of dyslexia, such as trouble remembering nursery rhymes, difficulty identifying rhymes, or problems pronouncing words, reach out to your child's pediatrician or their school.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She's also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 6-year-old son, and 2-year old daughter. Now that she's handling the remote learning process, academic workbooks are beginning to make an appearance at her house. She likes the idea of bite-sized content when we need it.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Polikoff DMQ and M. Summer learning loss: What is it, and what can we do about it? Brookings.

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. Helping your child learn to read.

  3. Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity. Signs of dyslexia.

By Maya Polton
Maya has more than 15 years of experience in digital media and communications and specializes in writing about family, food, and lifestyles. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Tufts University and a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.