Friday, August 23, 2013

Interactive Tot Books

At least a dozen times a day, Brayden brings me a book to read. He adores reading... as long as the books are interactive. With how active my little guy is, he doesn't like to sit passively by and just listen to me read  (because, you know, that's boring). I do that anyway while he's playing in the same room - just to expose him to new words. But Brayden isn't really into the pictures yet, and since he can't understand the story, the thing that keeps him interested in books is being able to interact with them somehow. Lifting flaps, touching fabrics, pushing buttons, etc. Occasionally, I can trick him and sing the book's words (if it's short with a nice cadence) and that keeps him interested long enough.

Exposing Brayden to interactive books was my way of getting him interested in reading (since up to that point, he had zero interest in books). So far, it's worked great. He loves reading interactive books. The same ones. Over. And over. And over again. I just hope that he'll learn to enjoy the pictures and stories sooner rather than later. In the meantime, here are the books my little guy most commonly brings me (if you need me to recite any of them by heart, I'm embarrassed to say I can... and will occasionally correct Lauren from the kitchen while he's reading them to Brayden and gets it wrong. That's what makes me such a great wife, in case you're wondering).

If anyone has any recommendations for other interactive books, I'd love for you to leave a comment! (not that I don't love reading the same 20-30 books over and over again...)

1. Alpha Bugs by David A. Carter. One of my favorites that he has. Each letter of the alphabet has an imaginary bug that pops up, moves around, is fun to touch, etc. Brayden knows what to do for every letter (which is pretty cute) and loves it. We also have the Touchy Feely bugs book by Carter and the mini-four pack. This one is by far the best.
2. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. An early favorite. A lift the flap book with animals hiding under cages and in boxes. We taught Brayden how to do different animal sounds with this book, which was pretty cool (so he can now add squealing like a monkey and hissing like a snake to his repertoire of tricks).
3. Playtime Peekaboo (and several others in this series) by DK Publishing. A combo lift the flap and touch & feel book. The Farm Peekaboo is pretty good, too. 
4. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt. This one is a classic for a reason. Brayden really likes doing all the tasks in the book - looking in the mirror, smelling the flowers, touching "daddy's scratchy face." And I always get a kick out of the noises and faces he makes when he sees himself in the little mirror in the book. A win-win, really.
5. Amazing Animals by Mark Radar. A book with ten buttons that make animal noises when you press them (though Lauren would claim there are only nine since it really bothers him that the have a kangaroo making a springy noise). Good for motor skills (they're a bit tough to press for really little babies, though) and matching (I try to get Brayden to press the button of the animal that matches the page we're on).
6. Flip-Up Counting by Chuck Murphy. Brayden's current favorite. There are animals on each page and a tab that makes the book flip up with the correct number of animals on the page. This should be great for when he's actually learning how to count. For now, after counting the animals, I push the flaps up and then Brayden pushes the flaps down.
7. What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz. A unique book with ribbons stretching across the crease. Each page adds a different color ribbon to the rainbow. 
8. Colors and Shapes by DK Publishing. A touch & feel book with basic colors and shapes. I'm pretty sure it's part of a series, because we have the same book with animals. Not sure if it's helping Brayden learn his colors, but he enjoys it. 
9. This Little Piggy by Parragon Books. This one is a puppet book - there's a cloth piggy that goes through the middle of the book and a spot on the back for you to put your finger. The text is just the "this little piggy" nursery rhyme, but I always use the puppet to grab Brayden's fingers and make him laugh. The first few times we read it, he was literally squealing with delight.
10. Monster Munch by Matt Mitter. I have to hide this book from Brayden because I just can't take reading it to him anymore. There's a zipper on the page for a pocket that's the monster's "mouth." Readers are supposed to feed the monsters little cardboard pictures based on what they like to eat. Brayden LOVES putting the pieces in the pouch and would probably have me read this to him for hours on end if I didn't hide it. 
11. Where is Baby's Belly Button? by Karen Katz. Another classic - and book that helped Brayden learn his body parts. Brayden loves lifting the flaps, pointing to the body part on the baby and then pointing to that same body part on himself.
12. Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth. This was the very first book Brayden liked. The ladybugs are tactile, so he enjoys touching them. And the holes on the facing pages are great for playing whack-a-mole with Mommy's fingers.


  1. those look like some great books, & i don't even have kids!:) when i'm sitting in the midde of B&N hoarding all the childrens books i'll have you to blame! ;)

    1. In that case, I highly recommend Alpha Bugs. It's fun for children and adults. ;)