There are countless developmental benefits to reading aloud to your infant, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents and caregivers introduce their baby to books as early as possible. While it can be tough to keep babies interested in words on a page, interactive baby books are a great way to stimulate your little one’s senses and engage their imagination. Here are the seven best interactive baby books.
Best Interactive Baby Books
1. LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book
(Best for language development — $$$)
Why it’s great: This LeapFrog Learning book contains one hundred everyday words for babies to listen to and learn about. Each page shares words related to a theme, such as pets, animals, food, mealtime, colors, and activities. Kiddos can touch the image of the word to hear it said out loud as well as other related sound effects and fun facts. Parents praise this book for being educational, age-appropriate, and durable.
Keep in mind: Some customers report the plastic pages can be tough to turn for tiny hands.
Good for: Bilingual babies as this book has English and Spanish capabilities.
2. Where Is Baby's Belly Button? A Lift-the-Flap Book
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: One of the most popular lift-the-flap books on the market, this book teaches kids the names of their different body parts. Large and colorful pictures invite little ones to play peek-a-book with baby, revealing different body parts each time. Made from durable board material, this book is small enough for little hands to hold and handle by themselves.
Keep in mind: Some customers say the flaps are a little flimsy.
Good for: Gifting as this book is a bestseller and popular with kids and their parents.
3. World of Eric Carle, Around the Farm Animal 30-Button Sound Book
(Best illustrations — $$)
Why it’s great: This book incorporates the magical illustrations of Eric Carle with the sounds of farm animals for an interactive and educational reading experience. Little readers will love looking at the bright images and touching the buttons affiliated with the animals on the pages to hear their sounds. Featuring thirty different animal pictures and sounds, this book is designed to boost babies’ memory, motor, and language skills.
Keep in mind: This book isn’t a board book and has thin pages, which can tear easily.
Good for: Older babies who are ready to push buttons and practice their animal sounds.
4. Pat the Bunny Set: First Books for Baby
(Best classic — $$$)
Why it’s great: Pat the Bunny has been a classic baby book for over seventy-five years thanks to its adorable illustrations and interactive features. This book set features the beloved Pat the Bunny book as well as Pat the Cat and Pat the Puppy, which are part of the same series. These books offer kids the opportunity to touch and feel, pull tabs, and scratch and sniff. Highly tactile, these books are designed to improve motor and language skills and foster a love of reading from an early age.
Keep in mind: These books feature spiral binding, which some customers say isn’t as durable as regular book binding.
Good for: Younger babies as these books are simple and features interactive details that all babies can engage with, no matter their age or capabilities.
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5. Wild Animals: A Touch and Feel Book
(Best touch and feel book — $)
Why it’s great: This touch and feel book is a great way to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of wild animals. Each page features a different animal whose unique texture can be pet by little hands. Rhyming text relays fun facts about each animal, making for a fun sensory and educational experience. Designed for kids 0-6 years old, parents praise this book for being durable and fun to read together.
Keep in mind: Some customers were disappointed that this book only includes five animal illustrations.
Good for: Animal lovers as this book features fun images and facts with unique touch-and-feel textures.
6. VTech Musical Rhymes Book
(Most musical — $$)
Why it’s great: This Musical Rhymes book is sure to delight babies of all ages with its wide variety of songs and sounds. Featuring five colorful buttons, this book teaches kids the distinctive sounds associated with five different instruments, including the guitar, drums, maracas, violin, and horn. Each page of this book shares the lyrics for a popular nursery rhyme. Kids will quickly learn how to twist and slide buttons to play each song out loud.
Keep in mind: This book doesn’t have a story but features lyrics to popular nursery rhymes.
Good for: Music lovers as this book plays songs and sounds from different instruments.
7. LAMAZE Peek-A-Boo Forest Book
(Easiest to travel with — $$$)
Why it’s great: This adorable Peek-a-Boo Forest book is soft and cuddly, perfect for beginning readers. Little ones will love turning the fabric pages to look at the bright and vibrant illustrations. Soft flaps encourage the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination while rhyming text supports language and cognitive development. Parents praise this book for being easy to hold, easy to clean, and easy to engage their little one’s attention.
Keep in mind: Some customers report that while this book can be hand washed, it takes a long time to dry out.
Good for: Travel as this book is soft, compact, and durable and can be thrown in a diaper bag or attached to a car seat or stroller.
FAQs about Interactive Baby Books
1. What should I consider when purchasing interactive baby books?
One important thing to consider when looking for interactive baby books is your little one’s interests and capabilities. For example, if your little one loves animals, choose a book that teaches the names and sounds of their favorite critters. If your baby loves music, choose a book that plays songs or features lyrics you can sing together. Younger babies will love bright images and fun sounds while older babies will appreciate rhyming language and features that they can touch and move on their own, like peek-a-boo flaps and touch-and-feel details.
2. What are the benefits of reading interactive books with my baby?
Studies have shown that reading has countless benefits to your child’s development. Not only does reading aloud teach babies about communication, but interactive books boost sensory and motor skills. Books are a great way to teach early learning concepts, like numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. While infants are too young to fully grasp these lessons, repetition and reiteration will establish an important foundation for future learning and education. Reading aloud also improves babies’ listening, memory, and vocabulary skills and teaches them important things about the world around them.
3. What age is best for interactive baby books?
Because of all the developmental benefits reading provides, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing books to your baby at birth. Interactive baby books are a great place to start as they’re designed to engage your little one’s senses. Most interactive baby books can grow with your baby, especially as their cognitive and motor skills improve. Starting early also helps families establish a reading routine that can be carried through childhood, which has been shown to increase a child’s long-term success in school.
4. How can I get my baby interested in reading books?
Younger babies probably won’t show much interest in books, which can be frustrating for parents and caregivers committed to reading aloud. However, even if your little one doesn’t seem like they’re getting anything out of it, they’re absorbing the words and sounds you say. Interactive baby books are a great way to engage your little one’s attention as they’re designed to stimulate babies’ senses and activate their imagination. Reading together is a great bonding activity and even if your little one is a tough crowd, they’re sure to love any chance to cuddle up next to you.
5. How often should I read with my baby?
Any time spent reading with your infant is beneficial. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading every day for a few minutes. While it can be tough for new parents to carve out reading time into their daily routine, it’s a great way to bond with your baby and provides a jumpstart on their cognitive development. Building reading time into your little one’s bedtime or nap time routine can be an easy and effective way to make reading a daily habit.
Reading has been shown to be beneficial to babies’ development in a variety of ways. For younger babies, hearing words and sounds stimulates their senses and provides an important foundation for visual, language, and social skills down the road. Interactive books are especially helpful in stimulating your little one’s imagination and provide an opportunity for your baby to fine-tune their motor skills. While some books play music and sounds, other books feature peek-a-boo tabs or touch-and-feel textures to stimulate the senses. Doctors recommend incorporating reading into your babe’s daily routine as soon as possible. Not only will it foster a lifelong love of learning, but it will offer a few minutes to cuddle and connect with your baby every day.