Having a toddler in the house is magical.
Even more magical?
Snuggling up in a rocking chair with that little one on your lap, sharing stories together, with her tiny hands wrapped around your pinkie finger. There’s nothing better, and if you are looking for the best books for toddlers, we’ve got you covered right here.
The books arrived by the dozen when my oldest was born.
Keepsake books, classic picture books, modern picture books, alphabet books and more. But each night, when I finished our last feeding and picked up a story to read with my new little love, it quickly became apparent that some books were just perfect for babies and toddlers while others were simply… not. At least, not yet.
The best books for toddlers revealed themselves to us pretty quickly.
When my eldest was out of the baby phase and became an active toddler, our reading really began to pick up. I loved stories that were not just fun and captivating, but meaningful, too. Sometimes he had no interest, of course. But other times, his delight was readily apparent. When he saw me pick up certain books he would run to me in the glider, climb into my lap and snuggle up against me as if I had just bribed him with an overnight trip to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
And then it hit me: whether you have a baby or a toddler, the right books create magical moments. But how do you pick the right books? Luckily, you’re in the right place. We’ve done a lot of the work for you!
BEFORE WE GET TO OUR SELECTION OF THE BEST BOOKS FOR TODDLERS, LET’S GO OVER SOME BASICS, SHALL WE?
The best books for toddlers stimulate development in remarkable ways.
It’s no secret that reading with children makes for incredible bonding time. It also helps create lasting connections, intimacy between parent and child, and positive associations with books. But reading also impacts your child’s brain in the most phenomenal ways. The benefits of reading with your children from the time they are infants include:
- development of language skills and language processing,
- exposure to nearly 78,000 words annually if read to every day, which boosts vocabulary and gives kids a huge advantage before beginning school,
- stimulation to the part of the brain that helps with imagery and comprehension, as well as visual stimulation by presenting little ones with images and colors,
- introduction to sounds and emotion, as well as the idea that particular words have meaning and connotation,
- preparation for reading independently by learning the rhythm, tone and inflection in your voice, and
- continuous exposure to your voice, which is both soothing and stress relieving.
When seeking out the best books for toddlers, consider these tips.
Imagine this: you are in the library and you need to grab some new books for your kiddo when – gasp! – you realize you have no cell service to access Happily Ever Elephants’ amazing resources. Don’t worry. Take a deep breath, and remember these tips:
- Repetitive books make for some of the best books for toddlers because they will eventually be able to fill in words on their own.
- Toddlers typically have short attention spans! Hold their interest by choosing books with small amounts of text on each page.
- For babies and toddlers under two, make sure to get board books with sturdy pages to prevent tiny fingers from ripping and tiny teeth from chewing their favorite stories!
- Children love to point out the things they do every day in illustrations and stories, so consider books about mealtime, bath time, bedtime and the like.
- Introduce new vocabulary with books that teach kids words they will be able to incorporate into their typical conversation. Books that associate words with pictures of commonly seen items around the house, outside, and at daycare or school are awesome.
- Pay attention to your child’s interests, and get books that complement those interests!
- Engage wiggly children and busy fingers with lift the flap pages, textured illustrations, die cut pages and deep grooves to work those fine motor skills.
These are some of the very best books for toddlers!
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Suggested Grade Level: Pre-K – 3rd