Have you tried reading to a toddler? One minute they are snuggled in your lap, quiet, and attentive. The next minute they are running around the room, dumping out a box of toys, and trying to catch the cat. Yes, reading with a toddler can be challenging at times. But, I have a secret weapon…INTERACTIVE TODDLER BOOKS.
Interactive books invite kids into the story not just with their imagination but with them physically playing a role in the read-aloud experience. Check out some sure-fire hits below. Plus, I have a printable list for you that you can add to your lesson plans or take to the library.
Interactive Books for Toddlers
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Some of the books were provided by publishers for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
You may have seen Chomp Goes the Alligator by Matthew Van Fleet on other of my book lists. I really like it. Actually, I really love all of Van Feet’s work. This one has touch-and-feel pages and a moveable chomping alligator mouth.
Farm the Farm by Sarah Lynne Reul is a lift-the-flap book full of rich verbs such as sprinkle, brush, and swing. Kids will also be introduced to farm animals including cows, hens, ponies, ducks, goat, sheep and pigs. Little ones will giggle at the animal droppings at the end.
I love the vocabulary building that can take place in Peek-a-Flap Moo by Jaye Garnett and the illustrations are beautiful and full of detail for toddlers to notice.
One of the challenges with lift-the-flap books is that little ones can rip the flaps right out of the book. Been there. Done that. But, Where’s the Duck?by Ingela P Arrhenius has flaps made of felt. So smart! Other titles in the series include Where’s the Dog? and Where’s the Ladybug?
What toddler doesn’t love to play hide-and-seek? Well, they can do just that in I Thought I Saw a… Lion! by Lydia Nichols.
There is a whole series of Bizzy Bear board books full of things to move and turn. Start with Bizzy Bear Zookeeper by Benji Davies and then move onto other favorites such as Bizzy Bear Let’s Get to Work!and Bizzy Bear Space Rocket.
Is That Your Dad? illustrated by Charles Ballesteros is an interesting book where the faces change as you turn the pages. The interaction here is that the kids are turning the pages creating the page to slide and turn into new faces.
Follow Me by Roger Priddy not only engages your children with books but helps little ones work on visual tracking as they use their finger to trace along a grooved track. Plus, there is lots of vocabulary to develop as they work. Also try Follow the Trail Trucks.
My Magical Unicorn is magically colorful with push, pull, and slide tabs. Kids get to make a rainbow appear and skip a unicorn off the page. You’ll also find My Magical Mermaid and My Magical Dragon in this series from Abrams.
It would be very remiss of me not to include the beloved Karen Katz’s lift-the-flap books. There are way too many to list, but our all-time favorite was Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
Tickle Monster by Josie Bissett doesn’t have parts in the book for the kids to touch and move, but there is plenty of interactiveness in this book. The reader is the tickler and the listener is the ticklee which means your kids will be content to listen and enjoy the story.
Little ones will want to press the button in Don’t Push the Button! by Bill Cotter. Toddlers and preschoolers both love this one.
You may have noticed that there aren’t any sound books on the list. Yes, books that encourage children to push buttons to create sounds can be interactive but I’ve found they don’t give you the best bang for your buck. I’ve found they often don’t engage at the level I want during reading, sound quality isn’t usually very good, and attention span wanders while waiting for the sounds to stop. Plus, the battery eventually dies.
When your toddlers have exhausted this list of books, check out this other post I have on Interactive Books for Kids.
Get the Printable List of Interactive Books for Toddlers
Download and print this book list to keep handy in your lesson plan binder or for reference when you head to the library.
More Toddler Book Lists