Good Parenting Books and Kids Activity Books
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My List of Good Parenting Books To Read


Good Parenting Books and Kids Activity Books

I like to think of Mother’s Day as an opportunity to reflect on our roles as mothers.

For myself, it’s a chance to consider how I am raising my children. Where I am and where I want to be.

And I often turn to books for this—either those already on my bookshelf or those at the library and bookstore. A couple of my favorites have been Simplicity Parenting and How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen and Listen so Your Kids will Talk. As well as art and creativity books, of course! And some kids activity books that I turn to for ideas.

Today I thought I’d put together a list of good parenting books that I’ve found helpful. This list is by no means exhaustive. Just some of my faves that I have read and loved over the years. Books that have influenced how I parent and how I live. I have included my own books as well, since they express how I parent.

Please feel free to share your own favorites in the comments! This post contains affiliate links.

Okay, here goes…

Favorite Parenting Books

Good Parenting Books

Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Hands Free Mama: A Guide to Putting Down the Phone, Burning the To-Do List, and Letting Go of Perfection to Graso What Really Matters! by Rachel Macy Stafford

Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Good Parenting Books

More Good Parenting Books

When I asked for your favorite parenting books on facebook yesterday, these were some mentioned ::

(Note :: I haven’t read these four, but would like to. I just bought The Conscious Parent and look forward to checking out the others.)

Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn

The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Honoring Our Children by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

It’s Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Children by Heather Shumaker

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham

Kids Activity Books - Arts, Crafts & Creativity

Kids Activity Books for Arts, Crafts, and Creativity

Mine and others!

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity by Jean Van’t Hul

The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons and Holidays with Crafts and Recipes by Jean Van’t Hul

Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids will Love to Make by Andria Lisle and Amie Plumley

And, of course, MaryAnn Kohl’s kids’ art books! Scribble Art is my fave but she has many, including a new one coming out soon called Action Art (I recently pre-ordered my copy).

Kids Activity Books for Gardening and Playing

Kids Activity Books for Gardening, Playing, and Learning

The Garden Classroom: Hands-On Activities in Math, Science, Literacy and Art by Cathy James

Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy

101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! by Holly Homer and Rachel Miller

150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids: The Very Best and Easiest Playtime Activities by Asia Citro

Favorite Household Books

Favorite Household Books for Parents

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Clutterfree with Kids: Change Your Thinking. Discover New Habits. Free Your Home. by Joshua S. Becker

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adlar

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up and all the other kids’ cookbooks by Mollie Katzen

Fiction Books and the Peanut Blossom Book Club


Fiction is always a good idea! If you are interesting in trying out a low-key online book club, I recommend Peanut Blossom’s Book Club for Recovering Readers run by my friend Tiffany Dahle. All the books that I’ve read so far have been great!

How about you? Which of these books have made a difference in how you parent and live? What good parenting books would you add to the list?

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Good Parenting Books and Kids Activity Books


  • Avatar
    May 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    This is such a lovely assembly of book! Love it.

  • Avatar
    May 5, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I love this list! Several of my favorites are here, which makes me want to check out the rest. Thanks!

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    May 6, 2015 at 1:16 am

    I’m just finishing up Parenting Without Power Struggles, and wow! It is, without hesitation, the best book I’ve ever read on parenting.

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    May 6, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Thank you so much for this succinct list. I have been struggling a bit lately with two toddlers and a babe-in-arms. From my attitude to their behaviour and eating habits etc and some of these titles you have compiled really jump out at me. I hope my husband can get me that kindle for Mother’s Day! Thank you again. Pru

  • Avatar
    May 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Great list, thank you!
    My favorite parenting book at the moment is Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Naphtali.

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    J. Marie
    May 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Big cheers for so many you mentioned! Simplicity Parenting, Everyday Blessings, Hands Free Mama, Unconditional Parenting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids!! One you mentioned wanting to read soon, Unconditional Parenting, really confronted me and so many assumptions I had. It brought me to some very good tears and a clearer picture of my kids.

    I had to mention Simplicity Parenting first in that list since it has made the biggest difference the longest for me–I even went onto become a Coach. Kim John Payne’s material is so rich. He has a new book out in June ( I did his course by the same name, and it was crucial for that path of really understanding children and our support of them. For what it’s worth, he has a free summit going on right now with lots of good experts participating (

    Still, the most important book I’ve read as a parent (and then the classes I ended up taking later with Neufeld Institute) is “Hold onto Your Kids” by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate. The first time I read the book, it actually startled me a lot and felt like a lot of gloom. But his material is essential. Not only has it changed me as a parent for the better, but it has transformed the way I understand and function all my relationships. I would also encourage his classes/DVDs. Engaging with his ideas and the research with real parents/stories is super helpful.

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