His favorite “toys” were always books. Even in a room full of colorful, noisy, and over-stimulating things, he always went to books. When he was angry, he always calmed down by listening to a book. This is still true now that he’s five.
With the help of more “grown-up” educational books (all of which have dinosaurs) and chapter books, we’ve been able to help him become more interested in reading.
Based on this, I thought that all babies must love books and grow up to be toddlers and preschoolers who love books, too. Wouldn’t that be nice?
As much as my son was drawn to books, my daughter didn’t want to read them (or used them to practice her ripping and tearing skills, which are truly first-rate). Yes, even though we read to her every day and made sure she always had a wide variety of books to choose from, she hasn’t been very interested in books.
Most parents know that reading to our kids is good for them even when they are babies. There are many ways to help build pre-literacy skills, which are important for a good learning-to-read experience. One way is to become familiar with books.
Suppose your child isn’t into reading.
Sensory books use more than just pictures and words to tell a story. They also use different textures, sounds, sights, and sometimes even smells to do this, and they can be very interesting for kids. These books not only make reading more fun and interesting for kids, but they also give them a chance to interact with books in a whole new way.
There are a lot of sensory books that can help your child learn more about the world and how they can interact with it, so adding them to their bookshelf is a good idea (even if they already love reading).
When you read a sensory book, you can do things like pet the puppy’s fur, tie the child’s shoelace, see yourself in the mirror, smell the sweet apple, and so on. This makes them a great resource for kids with special needs and/or learning difficulties.
Among the best sensory books for toddlers and preschoolers we’ve found are these:
Kinderkrama Quiet Book for 1, 2 & 3 year olds
There are raised shapes in the pictures that fit into the cutouts on the opposite sides of the book. This makes it easy for little fingers to trace. There are many different things to choose from, like a farm with cars and trucks, wild animals, numbers, shapes, colors, and many more!
TouchThinkLearn ABC, Xavier Deneux
This alphabet book is made up of fun etchings that make it easy to walk through the letters. Big, sturdy book: It’s good for a lot of wear and tear. For older kids, the illustrations are fun and can start a lot of interesting talks. At the top of the mountain, what can the owl see?
Where’s the Giraffe, Ingela P. Arrhenius
As a child, Charlene’s boys loved lifting the brightly colored felt flaps to find out what was inside. It’s great that they’re made of felt, because paper ones always get torn. The colors are bright, and this is a very interesting book for little kids.
Kinderkrama Quiet Book for 1, 2 & 3 year olds
You can make your own “quiet” sensory book from this Etsy shop. It’s a beautiful piece of art that includes a lot of fun on every page. You have to spend a lot of money, but if you take good care of this “baby thing,” it could become a piece of history. As a gift, it’s also a great and thoughtful thing to do.
Touch and Explore the Ocean, Stephanie Babin, illus. Nathalie Choux
In this book, you can touch different textures and learn a lot of nerdy things about a lot of different marine animals. It’s fun for kids to touch turtle shells, fish scales, and barnacles on a whale. As a nonfiction title, this is a rare find in the sensory book department. This book is great for older pre-readers. My favorite complaint about this book is that it uses the words “starfish” and “jellyfish” instead of “sea star,” “sea jelly,” or “sea jellyfish.”
Press Here, Herve Tullet
This book is so fun and interesting that both parents and kids love it. In this book, kids are in charge. It’s more like a game than a straight-forward story. There are a lot of ways it can help teach kids about colors and counting. It also helps them learn how to follow directions and work together. One mom even played the game with her 20-year-old son!
Guion the Lion, Rebecca Wilson Macsovits
This book doesn’t have a lot of things that you can touch, but it has a lot of bright, beautiful colors. Guion the Lion has beautiful, vivid watercolor illustrations that children of all ages will love. My kids were in love with the pictures in this book. At the end of the book, there are talking points (questions about the book, feelings, and sensations) and activities for you to do with your kids.
Macsovits came up with the book to help people open up and talk about the good and important things about being different. When kids learn to appreciate their own differences and accept the ideas of others, they can go on adventures they could never have imagined and have fun for a long time. This is the message of the book, and it’s one that’s especially important today.
Mix it Up, Herve Tullet
This book is another winner from the creator of Press Here. It shows kids how to mix paint splotches to see and learn how different colors and combinations make different hues and designs without making a mess. This is a favorite of kids.
Off to the Beach, Cocoretto
This touch-and-feel book lets kids use their senses to learn about the beach. It’s possible for them to touch a towel, look at sparkling sand, and scratch and sniff an orange-flavored popsicle, all at the same time. This book also has braille print and page numbers that are embossed. Make sure to check out Cocoretto if you want to see more of the same style.
The Touch Book, Nicola Edwards, illus. Thomas Elliott
This book of textures is Montessori-inspired and educational but not in a formal way. Every page has a lot of different textures for kids to touch and think about. This helps them think about categories, feelings, and the world around them in a more hands-on way. great way to get people curious!
Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book, Lotta Neiminen
This is a recipe book for kids that is both fun and educational. Its content is simple but still accurate, and the book is full of interesting, sensory elements. Cooking in a book also has titles for pizza, pancakes, and cookies, all of which sound good.
My kids love these books that make music. If you have a young child who likes music and audio, these are a good way to get them to like reading. Push a button on each page to play a song, then turn to the next one. I like that these “push-and-play” books aren’t cheap, noisy plastic toys. They have the tactile experience of a “real book,” and they aren’t “babyized.” For example, the classical music pick plays real Beethoven and Mozart.
Besides, I like that you can buy books in different languages and in a wide range of genres (rhymes, reggae, rock ‘n’ roll, counting, and so on). My two kids have been happy and busy for a long time because they’ve been entertained by these short books and short songs. I don’t love how short each book is and how short each song is.
Welcome to the Symphony, Carolyn Sloan, illus. James Williamson
Children learn about the instruments, music fundamentals, orchestral sections, and theater in this book. It also features music from the New York Youth Symphony, which is very cool. We think it’s great for kids as young as two years old, and musicians love it, too. It’s good for kids who aren’t yet old enough to start school. Also, check out the Jazz version made by the same group of people, too.
World of Eric Carle: Around the Farm Animal Sounds Book, Mark Rader, illus. Eric Carle
This cute Eric Carle book has 30 animal sounds and illustrations that match. A fun one for toddlers who are learning animal sounds. We like that each animal’s icon is clearly shown so little hands can find the right button to press on their own, so they don’t have to help.
Discovery: Rumble with the Dinosaurs!, Thea Feldman
For the child who is in love with dinosaurs, this is a good gift idea. There are 10 sounds in this book, and it’s full of fun facts about different kinds of dinosaurs. The sounds are very short, but kids who like dinosaurs really enjoy it. You should know that. Also, if your child is interested in a different subject, Discovery has separate titles on baby animals, construction, zoo animals, farm animals, cars and trucks, and many other things, too.