Reading to your little one requires a massive amount of patience and a good selection of the best board books for toddlers.
I absolutely loved reading to my chunky little monkeys when they were toddlers. Those are memories I will cherish forever.
But do they stop moving long enough to enjoy a book?
They sure do! We have come up with some tried and true helpful pointers! For more tips on reading out loud to your child see our post Improve Reading Comprehension For Kids – Shout It Out!
Even if they won’t sit next to you at first, just start reading out loud.
Be animated and boisterous. I guarantee, they will stop in their tracks and be lured in. They will be so curious, they won’t be able to help themselves. Before you know it, you will have a snuggly little buddy right next to you!
This informative article from PBS discusses reading milestones through 18 months old.
They will want to handle these books with their own pudgy fingers. Until they learn how to treat books, board books are the best bet. They can “read” board books by themselves; no worries about ripped pages. Big picture books are great for when babies are too small to want to hold books, and they are appropriate when kiddos have a little more respect for books.
Take time while reading to make comments about the book.
Point out the bold colors, the silly animals. This is how they start to associate objects with the words.
If the words are big enough, point to the word when you read it! Board books are great for this, they usually have large, simple words.
With the help of our kids, we came up with some great board books toddlers will love! I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!
Big Little by Leslie Patricelli
This book was a huge favorite with our family. It is a brightly colored board book with a few simple words per page. It is so silly and makes me smile just thinking about it! This book compares words and their opposites, like, “elephants are big, mice are little.” It has a cute little baby in all the scenes, he is the main character. Our favorite page is the one that says, “Ladies are big, ladybugs are little.” It’s hilarious, the “big lady” is wearing a dress similar to ladybug wings. Leslie Patricelli has more than 20 board books; they are all hysterical.
Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton
Such a silly bedtime book! I love it because it’s goofy. It makes you have one last giggle before bedtime! It goes through the process of getting your pj’s on with dance moves! The little jingle you will sing (made up by yourself of course) can be a fun tradition every night. It helps make getting ready for bed fun! We parents can always use a little help with making bedtime less of a chore. Sandra Boynton has tons of great board books all with her well-known animal characters.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Is a beautifully illustrated classic that we all know and love. The bright pictures combined with the cute story make this a must have! Your kiddos will love turning the pages to see just what the caterpillar will eat next. Of course, the holes poking through the food is fun for their fat little fingers. This is one of the best books for toddlers because of the interactive holes! Eric Carle has many board books that would be a great addition to your home.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Is another wonderful classic and a personal favorite. This story is so sweet and peaceful to read. I found that I almost had to whisper when reading this to my kids. It is that precious. This sweet little bunny goes through his home saying “goodnight” to random things, like his comb and brush. As the story winds down, so does your level of relaxation. It is impossible to not feel sleepy after reading this book. Margaret Wise Brown has written other cute books, but Goodnight Moon is by far the best.
Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! By Dr. Seuss
What can I say? It’s a Dr. Seuss book, you can’t go wrong. His quirky take on words that start with a certain letter is so comical. Each page is devoted to a letter. Appropriate pictures and a silly rhyme like song represent the letter. It is hard to not read this book loudly and laugh the whole time. It’s simply Dr. Seuss ridiculousness. Everytime you say, “Four fluffy feathers on a Fiffer- feffer- feff”, your kiddos will crack up! What a fun way to learn your letters! Many of Dr. Seuss’s books come in board books. Thank you, Dr. Seuss.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Is a favorite to all preschool teachers. I remember when both my kids were that age, they did a book of art projects relating to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It is easy to see why this classic book is so popular. The illustrations are so bright and the content is very catchy. It’s a fun, easy rhyme to remember. This is a classic favorite board book for babies! If you don’t already have this, it’s a must have!!
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Was one of my son’s absolute favorite board books. He took it to bed with him, in the car too. It went everywhere! Thank goodness this one wasn’t one of his “chew toys”. This story is just so sweet. The Zookeeper is a gentle man who carefully puts all the animals to bed. What he doesn’t realize, is that a friendly gorilla takes his keys and lets out the animals. They don’t cause naughty mischief like you’d think. It’s so cute what they want to do when they get out….you will have to read it for yourself!
Barnyard Dance! By Sandra Boynton
Was my daughter’s favorite board book. I think this was because my son had fun reading it to her! This book is outrageously funny! Big-eyed goofy farm animals are all dancing with each other. Sandra Boynton breaks the laugh meter with her goofy animals and their crazy actions. This is an interactive board book, so get your stompin’ boots on!! Barnyard Dance! gets you up and moving, sure to be a family favorite.
First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
Is filled with 100 first words and matching pictures. This colorful board book is cute and very helpful in its simplicity. It is one of the best board books for babies for learning first words. Roger Priddy actually has other board books about numbers and animals. They too are wonderful and perfect for toddlers just learning first words.
Mommy Hugs and Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben
Are two wonderful board books. I couldn’t decide which one was my favorite, so, I picked them both! These two books go hand in hand. They are such sweet stories about how different animals kiss or hug their babies. “Mommy elephant hugs her calf with a squeeze.” Each page has a line like that with beautiful illustrations of these adorable animals. This is a great quiet time book right before nap or bedtime. My husband loved reading Daddy Kisses to our babies, such good memories.
I sure hope this post helps you! I had fun going down memory lane…..take care, Kris:)
Read on my friends!!