From the first day that you bring your baby home, you are probably doing everything you can to give your child the best possible chance in life.
If you are looking for the one thing that will have the biggest impact on your baby’s future—besides love, security, and good nutrition of course, then the answer might be right under your nose!
An interactive baby book.
It is never too early to start reading to your baby, so try to start from the very first day that you bring your little one home. Not only will it be good for them, but it can also be a relaxing experience for you. Why not keep a selection of interactive baby books near at hand when you are nursing or on a bookshelf nearby.
Recommended Interactive books for babies:
When buying interactive books for your baby or toddler, you will have so many to choose from.
If you aren’t familiar with authors of children’s books, then choosing the best one could be quite a daunting task. Start with recommended authors, and try to look at the actual books before buying them.
A word of warning: Not all interactive books are written or constructed to the highest standards!
The best books will have top quality interactive features so the flaps, pull-tabs, pop-ups, tactile materials etc. should be of the highest safety grade for your little one. Board books and fabric books should be robust, durable, and able to withstand some pretty heavy handling, along with drips, drops and surprisingly strong pulls from fascinated young children.
In case you are wondering, these recommended books are not arranged in any particular order. They are all wonderfully entertaining and beautifully presented.
1. The very hungry caterpillar
This book is written by Eric Carle, and it’s fabulous for babies because it is not only colourful, but your baby can enjoy the interactive holes in the board that they can poke their finger through. It is timeless because it also helps toddlers learn to count with the hungry caterpillar. You can’t beat a book that is educational and encourages play.
2. Goodnight Moon
This book by Margaret Wise Brown is an old classic and favourite of children the world over. It is written and illustrated very simply in primary colours, and it makes a super bedtime reading treat.By installing the book app on your smartphone or table, this story becomes interactive.
3. Black and White
Written by Tana Hoban, this is a board book for babies that is unusual and interesting. I was especially pleased to see this black and white board book for young babies who have developing eyesight. The book is constructed as an accordian that folds out, so the book can surround the baby and keep them interested for a long time.
4. How to be a cat
Written by Nikki McClure, this book is also specially for toddlers, but this great book will be enjoyed for many years because of the engaging topic about a cat teaching her kittens about life—just like you are doing with your baby.
5. You are Light
A book by Aaron Becker is a beautiful interactive board book that uses die-cut holes filled with translucent colours to engage babies with an experience when it is held up to the light. This book would be a good, soothing book for after feeds.
6. Moo Ba La La La
This book by Sandra Boynton is a fun, read aloud book. It includes an educational aspect about farm animals and helps to develop “rhythm, rhyming and repetition”. There is even an interactive app that has been made out of this book.
The alphabet book by Xavier Deneux has die-cut letters that fit into shapes, and this allows children to play with shapes and texture while learning the letters of the alphabet.
8. Where’s the Astronaut?
By Ingela P. Arrhenuis, this book has colourful felt flaps and it is part of a series of similar board books for babies.
9. That’s not my puppy
For a touchy reading experience, try this book by Fiona Watt. It is a feel book that introduces a wide range of vocabulary and different textures related to touch. There are books about other animals and robots in the range.
10. Hungry Bunny
This is an amazing book for toddlers because it makes them active all the time. For all your little ones that want to help the bunny get some apples, show them this book and watch them enjoy it!
11. Baby’s Very First Cloth Book: Faces
A book by Jo Lodge which is ideal for newborns and older babies because it has the best colours for a baby’s eyesight, crinkly texture,s and even a mirror for baby to recognize and admire itself.
12. The Big Book Of The Blue
This book is full of different sea creatures that your kids will like to watch. Also, next to every photo there is a question similar to the one your kid would probably ask. In case you don’t know the answer, you can find it at the end of the book. I don’t need to mention that this is a great way for your kid to learn new things while playing!
13. Block Books
Written by Christopher Franceschelli this series of board books have letters cut out so that they create a peekaboo interactive experience for baby. The many layers of topics and texture mean that these books will appeal for more than just one read.
14. Baby Feminists
This book is a unique and topical book by Libby Babbott-Klein. It uses flaps that babies love to look under, and the illustrations of famous feminists as babies are underneath the flaps. It gives a gentle message that baby can grow up to be whatever they want to be.
15. Press Here
Herve Tullet is a talented French author and illustrator who has created this fun book. The reader is invited to perform all sorts of actions that result in an interactive reward on the next page. You are certain to be rewarded by lots of giggles from your little one when enjoying this book together.
16. Busy Noisy Farm
Sound books are always a favourite with babies and toddlers, especially when they can mimic the sounds and surprise themselves. This particular book has ten buttons that produce animals sounds and is sure to be loved by all!
17. Hoppity Frog and Flutterby Butterfly
Slide and seek books quickly capture baby’s interest, and I recommend this book by Emma Parrish. They are easy to manipulate even for a baby of six months old and gets them interested in nature from the word go.
18. Open the barn door
If your little one gets a bit over-enthusiastic with interactive books, then you will find that this book is the one for them! This is a flap book that is robust enough to withstand even the strongest little fingers. This farm-themed story is bound to become a favorite book for your child.
19. Pop-Up Peekaboo! Puppies
Written by DK, this story has an enchanting surprise under the flap on each page. It has a fluffy puppy on the cover, and the book is sturdy and well-constructed.
Written by Nina Laden, this is a book that plays the old-time favourite game of peek-a-boo with your baby. Baby has to guess what animal will be on the next page by looking carefully at the shapes showing through the die-cut hole.
21. I can dance
This book actually includes some fun for the adult reading it, too. Written by Betsy Snyder, the book lets you use your fingers to do the dancing. Each page has holes through which one can put your fingers and make the dancing legs of different characters. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.
22. In My Tree and In My Nest
This finger puppet book could easily be the best baby book of all time! A cute puppet, activated by your finger, pops out on every page of In My Tree. Sarah Gillingham has also written In My Nest, which has a similar format and is just as delightful.
23. Let’s Bake A Cake
This book has more interactive features for an infant reader than you can shake a stick at! There are sensory textures, pull-tabs, and pop-ups galore in this beautifully illustrated book by Anne-Sophie Baumann.
24. Where is Baby’s Belly Button
Karen Katz is a highly recommended writer and illustrator of babies books. Her book is a best seller because it is interactive with lift-up-flaps and, of course, you can model the baby’s belly button and other body parts on your own baby while reading the book. Such fun!
25. Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy
This is another interactive book by Sandra Boynton. If your baby loves to really get its hands on things, then this book will give him or her the sensory thrill they are looking for. There is a wide range of vocabulary words to do with touch, so your baby will be learning to perform these actions from very hard scratches to gentle strokes.
26. Pat the Bunny
Even though this book was first published in 1940, it is still one of the most loved storybooks for babies. It is called Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt, and it was way ahead of its time. It was the first interactive book for babies, and it really deserves a place in your baby’s library.
27. Explore and More Mix & Match Book
A book by Skip Hop which incorporates a rattle and is good for teething babies too. It has more than the usual amount of interactive features and gives you more for your money.
28. Tickle Tickle Peter
This book would make an excellent baby shower gift because it is an old classic that has been made interactive for babies. Tickle Tickle Peter is a story of the beloved Peter Rabbit from the famous Beatrix Potter books. It has the delightful characters with textured bodies, so your baby can enjoy it from the word go.
29. Winter Bright Baby Touch and Feel
Books about the seasons are always a good way to teach little ones about nature and the changes that occur throughout the year. Roger Priddy has written a series of “touch and feel” storybooks about the seasons, and Winter Bright Baby Touch and Feel is one example that will not disappoint.
30. Never Touch a Dinosaur
It is a well-known fact that many children are totally gripped by any book about dinosaurs. Little boys, in particular, find them fascinating. So, if your baby shows such an interest, then this is the book for them! Never Touch a Dinosaur encourages your baby to do the absolute opposite of that instruction. The silicone material that has been used to create the patches will give them a great sensory experience while they enjoy the rhyming cautionary tale.
31. Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum
Written by Anna Dewdney, this one is a fun, food-based book with lots of tasty treats to scratch and smell. Some of the ingredients will be unfamiliar to your kiddo, but hopefully it will encourage them to be more adventurous in trying different flavours. It’s an excellent book to share at mealtimes.
I do hope that my recommendations of great interactive books for babies has inspired you to invest in some of these titles.
I am sure that you will not regret spending time enjoying these books with your baby. Sure, interactive books take a bit more time to get through than just reading words, but hopefully, you will reap the rewards of spending this time together.
Babies and toddlers love to have your undivided attention. Sharing an interactive book with your child gives them the feeling that they are important enough for you to give them the individual attention that they need and crave.
If they associate book time with fun, cuddling, and laughter, then you have set them up to be life-long readers.
Just the sound of your voice reading the story can give your fussy baby the reassurance that it needs. With the right choice of interactive books, your baby will soon be able to enjoy every moment of storytime.
As your baby grows, it needs mental stimulation in order to develop cognitively. Interactive books provide the perfect stimulus for them.
Firstly, babies learn words from hearing you say them, and they then begin to copy you. By playing with interactive books, babies have the opportunity to use hearing and sight to make associations. With the addition of the sense of touch from interactive books, babies get more pleasure and a deeper level of learning from the experience. Plus, they love the element of surprise that an interactive book provides.
Many interactive baby books are themed to suit a baby’s routines. For example, there are books about food that can help you to distract a fussy eater—especially if they are made out of a washable fabric.
Bedtime stories are also a favorite and help baby transition from being active to enjoying the soothing touch and feel books that remind them of their cuddle blanket. Before you have finished the bedtime book, your baby could be asleep in your arms.
Some of the books I have recommended have themes about the natural world. If these themes are combined with safe objects which can be easily manipulated in books, it will develop their curiosity, and even the youngest babies will have an enriching, learning experience.
Developing their fine motor skills is just as important as any other factor in your baby’s growth. Remember that little hands love to fiddle, and interactive books provide the perfect opportunity. With bumpy, fuzzy, smooth, silky, and every other textured material that is safe for babies to handle, they will have a great amount of pleasure and time to tickle, stroke, suck and pull—all activities that are needed for those growing muscles.
It is possible to obtain good books for babies and toddlers from a variety of sources. Our local library issues library cards from the age of two, and my children were both registered on their second birthdays!
We could not wait to browse the shelves for new books each week, and of course we always had to include a few of their old favourite interactive baby books, no matter hold old they got.
Even if you only have one or two interactive books on your bookshelf for your baby, remember that they love repetition, so they will not get bored even if you read the same book over and over. In fact, this helps to develop memory skills and language patterns that are essential for us to be able to read and write when we are adults.
With Christmas around the corner, you could use the handy list of selected books above as suggestions when family and friends ask what they can give your little one as a gift.
They would also be great as baby shower, birthday, and reward gifts. You can be confident that the interactive books on this list will provide entertainment for many more hours than some toys which babies find boring after five minutes.