Inside: Interactive books for babies and toddlers have tons of developmental benefits, and these are some of our very favorites. If you want your kids to fall in love with reading, check out these interactive books, stat!
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Interactive Books Are Must Haves for Your Child’s Bookshelves!
If you have a baby or toddler in your home, it is absolutely imperative that you have interactive books on your shelves. These are some of the most important types of books you can give to a child, not only for the way they help boost their developmental skills, but also for the way they help foster a love of reading and support early literacy.
RELATED: Looking for more of the best books for toddlers? We’ve got all you need on Happily Ever Elephants!
Interactive Books for Babies Support Development!
When sharing interactive books for babies and toddlers with your children, you are boosting their development in such important ways.
First, interactive board books are incredibly engaging and capture childrens’ interest and curiosity. When your little ones bat at pages, look for hidden characters, and actively participate in stories, you’re creating the building blocks for reading and writing development!
Second, many interactive books include pull tabs, die cut pages, moving parts, and different textures. These elements create fabulous sensory experiences and are important for boosting sensory development!
Finally, interactive books are fabulous for fine motor development. When your little one pulls tabs, lifts flaps, and traces her finger along die cut pages and grooved paths, you are enhancing fine motor skills. Good on your for working on finger isolation and that all important pincer grasp!
Interactive Books Help Kids Fall in Love with Reading
Above all else, I firmly believe that interactive board books will help your little ones fall in love with reading. When your children are actively participating in story time, engaging with the pages, and delighting at the suprirses that pop up from under flaps they lift themselves, they experience, first hand, the wonder of story. And when they realize that books provide avenues for entertainment, wonder and amusement, you will hook them right then and there.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some of these interactive books that will be perfect for babies and toddlers, have fun with the stories, and let your children explore the magical world of interactive board books. Enjoy!
Do you want to make storytime with your little ones ROCK? Find out how, right here!
Our Favorite Interactive Books for Babies
Guess Which Hand, by Hans Wilhelm and illustrated by Ilaria Guarducci: You guys. This book is genius! Think of hiding a small object in one of your tightly-fisted palms and asking your kiddo to guess which hand the object is in. Well, Guess Which Hand is exactly that — in board book form with a wheel to turn and flaps to lift. This is one of my favorite interactive books for toddlers and has become a go-to book for baby showers because of the joy and wonder it elicits in little ones!
Chomp Goes the Alligator, by Matthew Van Fleet: This is a touchy-feely concept book, teaching kids how to count while also giving them a way to work their fine motor skills with a pull tab that makes the alligator’s mouth open and close. This book is a total winner for the younger set, and it will have your kids chomp, chomp, chomping all day long! Such a fun interactive book for toddlers, and your kids won’t be able to keep their hands off of it!
Press Here, by Herve Tullet: This innovative book allows your child to be the grand master of the “story.” The reader is invited to press, shake, tap, blow and clap, watching with wonder as multi-colored dots “respond” to his physical input by multiplying, changing sizes/colors, and traveling around the pages. Your child will, without a doubt, eat this up book up! And you? You will be in heaven as you watch your kiddo squeal with delight as he interacts with the dots on every page. It is a great book to help kids learn how to follow a simple sequence of instructions, and it is also a helpful tool to teach children about cause and effect in a fun and unique manner.
Mon Petit Busy Day, by Annette Tamarkin: This is a phenomenal oversized board book that offers hands on activities for toddlers. Little readers will trace lines with their fingers to promote fine motor activities, play memory games while learning shapes, and learn left from right through clever tabs. This is such an engaging book that offers a different learning experience on every page! Part concept book, part interactive book for toddlers, and so wholly engaging.
From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle: If you have a child who has a hard time sitting still during story time, she will absolutely love getting active and following along with the animals in this classic interactive board book. In this energetic story, giraffes can bend their necks, buffalos can raise their shoulders, and penguins can turn their heads. But can you do it? Kids will love listening to the ways in which various animals move their bodies and then try to mimic those movements. We can’t get enough of this one, and it’s a favorite among my students!
TouchThinkLearn: Wiggles, by Claire Zucchelli-Romer: Little hands will get a workout with this fabulous book that encourages toddlers to trace their fingers along grooved paths that zig and zag and twist and turn. Our littlest readers are encouraged to play and explore in this hands-on book that provides young kids with an amazing multi-sensory experience. This is an awesome book to enhance our children’s fine motor skills, and the entire TouchThinkLearn series ranks super high on our list of best board books! You will see more below!
Tap the Magic Tree, by Christie Matheson: Your kids will learn all about the four seasons with this fabulous interactive board book that requires you to shake, wiggle, and tap its pages — and even blow it kisses! Little ones will marvel at the way their efforts help one little tree change with each season. Talk about magic! If you love this one, you will also love the other two books in this great series, Plant the Tiny Seed and Touch the Brightest Star.
Pelicans Bill Interactive Story Book, by Kathy Knight and Kate Stone: Though short, this will easily become your child’s favorite counting book. When you pull on the hinged component, the pelican’s mouth opens and your kiddo will get to count how many objects got inside his beak! A perfect, simple and engaging way to introduce numbers to your child!
That’s Not My Puppy…, by Fiona Watt: Both of my kids were absolutely enamored with Usborne’s “touchy-feely” books, particularly the “That’s not my…” series, and I can say with out a doubt that these tactile, interactive books for toddlers are some of the best board books out there. Each book in this series features an animal, person or object combined with simple repetitive text. Each page invites tiny fingers to explore various different textures (fuzzy, rough, soft, bumpy, etc). The books are sturdy and well built, the illustrations are bright and fun, and the textures help develop and stimulate sensory skills.
Peek-a-Who?, by Elsa Mroziewicz: We absolutely adore this unique baby book, and each time we picked it up, my kiddos eagerly unfolded the pages to find out what animal was hiding behind each flap. This book is beautiful in every way, from its clever design to its stunning illustrations. An absolute gem, and another awesome book to give to a new parent!
Dance, by Matthew Van Fleet: If you want your kids to wiggle and laugh, they will love this interactive board book in which a little chick learns to dance from one awesome band of animals. This book is such a delight, with tabs that, among other things, make the alligator’s arms’ swing and the hippo’s skirt swish. We simply adore Van Fleet’s work, including another one of our favorites, Tails.
Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz: This is one of the most treasured stories on our shelf, and the very best board book to teach counting for the way it encourages affection and play between parent and child. In this story, a tired baby is getting ready for bed. What follows is a countdown of kisses given to the baby by all members of her family, starting on the babies’ tiny toes, then going up to her belly button and on to the top of her head… Until, of course, the baby falls sound asleep. For our full review of Counting Kisses, click here!
Hi-Five Animals!, by Ross Burach: Kids will absolutely adore giving “hi” fives to all of the animals that greet them in this adorable book. From animal sounds to bright pictures to interactive fun on every page, your toddlers won’t stop wanting to high five you, because this engaging book will have your kids giggling long after the final page. Such a fun board book for your littles!
Color Wonder Hooray for Spring, by Chiêu Anh Urban: Kiddos will love learning with this unique book, complete with two interactive spinners that allow them to create colors right in the middle of the flower. This book is a gem for teaching toddlers colors and color mixing, because its two different wheels make it easy to show what happens when, for example, red and yellow are mixed to create orange! Better for your older toddler, we say this is one of the best books for two year olds!
Hug Me Little Bunny: Finger Puppet Book, by Chronicle Books: If you love finger puppet books, you will adore both this book and Hug Me Little Bear! We love the way these books explore the various things parents can do with their little ones, from hugging to playing to sharing. Such a fun interactive book for toddlers, and we just love it!
Hoppity Frog: a Slide-and-Seek Book, by Emma Parrish: Where oh where is hoppity frog? Is he in the reeds or coral reef? Your kids will love the interactive sliders in this book that allow them to reveal hidden animals and play hide and seek with hoppity frog. Children delight at guessing which animal may pop up to greet them, and they eagerly await a hoppity frog sighting. Adorable!
TouchThinkLearn: Fly!, by Xavier Deneux: I am so very much in love with this stellar and innovative series of interactive board books. This one allows your kiddos to move a bird from nest to tree and all around the pages as it celebrates the life cycle of a charming bird! Simple and sturdy with movable parts, we can’t get enough of these books. We also adore Vehicles!
Hello Honeybees: Read and Play in the Hive!, by Hannah Rogge and Emily Dove: If you and your kids are nature lovers, you will love this book that transforms into a standing bee hive! Children can “fly” two bees through this books charming pages that will teach your toddlers all about those hard working honey bees — and how honey is made, too!
The Human Body (Play Tabs), by Stephanie Babin and illustrated by Ilaria Falorsi: We love these sturdy tabs that encourage kids to push and pull in order to learn about the body. This book has a lot of text, but you can choose to read small portions of it for your littlest kids and or all of it for your older ones. It is a fabulous introduction to the human body, teaching kids about the five senses, their skeletons, and how to take care of themselves. Such fun interaction, and your kids will love figuring out which direction to pull the tabs!
Feelings (Pull and Play), by Alice Henand and Thierry Bedouet: Oh, how I love this concept book! Encouraging even our littlest children to learn about and discuss their feelings is so important, even at tender young ages. Using pull tabs, kids will be excited to identify and learn to vocalize how Little Crocodile and his friends are feeling on each page. We love this one!
For more interactive book recommendations, check out Happy You, Happy Family’s Best Interactive Books for Kids to Get the Wiggles Out!