As a hands-on parent, my favorite kids’ activity is reading! The best books are ones that inspire a child’s imagination in innovative, surprising ways.
12 Best Interactive Books for Kids to Read
If you’ve ever found yourself telling your child to “be gentle” with a book, this list is for you. The books I’ve chosen are interactive books that require kids to lift, peek, press, fold, search, chatter and most of all, smile.
Above all, they are “hands-on books for hands-on kids!”
The following list of books contains affiliate links.
Hands down (no pun intended!) this is my favorite one of my interactive books for kids. The best way to describe it is to call it an “analog app.”
Each page asks the child to perform a task, such as pressing a colored dot or blowing on the page. When the page is turned, the landscape has magically changed.
Press Here is my go-to book when purchasing a gift for any child aged 1-3.
Out of Sight
Out of Sight is a marvelous over-sized book with vibrant, eye-catching lift-the-flaps. Kids will love guessing which animal is hiding under flaps of animal hides, silhouettes or paw prints.
This is a book that will age with a child. When he is little he will love interacting with it, as he gets older he can learn from the facts.
Rufus Butler Seder
As you turn the pages, the images actually move. These are some of the greatest interactive books for kids!
These books remind me of old-school technology like zoetropes. It’s like a mini-movie in a book!
Begin Smart Books
Begin Smart is one of my favorite series of board books for babies. This book doubles as a mask.
As parents (or kids!) turn the pages, they hold the book up to their faces for a fun game that is a combination of peek-a-boo and “guess who I am?”
From the Begin Smart series, I also recommend Push the Button.
A Kiss for You
A Kiss For You! is an adorable book and one of my favorites. Attached to the book is a single lift-the-flap hand.
Kids can use the hand on each page to perform tasks, like patting a puppy, giving a high five, or blowing a kiss. The hand is magnetized so it works perfectly.
Farm Animals & City Animals
Award-winning author-illustrator Simms Taback made several board books for young children about animals. Kids try to guess the animal which will appear as they open a four part over-sized foldout page.
As the parent of Big City kids, I especially appreciate the opportunity to read books which reflect their world. Many kids will find some of the City Animal choices a bit surprising!
And my kids love discovering more about Farm Animals. As city kids, they’re not always as exposed to country life.
Matthew Van Fleet
Matthew Van Fleet has created numerous interactive picture books and Alphabet invites kids to interact with it in every possible way.
Kids can lift flaps, pull tabs, feel textures, even scratch and sniff, all while practicing their alphabet skills.
Can You Make a Scary Face?
Can You Make a Scary Face? is a wonderful book and perfect for story times.
A ladybug asks the reader to perform various silly tasks like pretending to swallow a bug, wiggling her nose, standing up, and (you guessed it) making a scary face.
By the end, your little one will be bubbling over with laughter. It’s what makes it one of my top interactive books for kids!
The Yellow Balloon
Seek and find books encourage kids and develop pre-literacy skills.
In The Yellow Balloon, kids will take a closer look at the beautiful, detailed illustrations while they try to spot a yellow balloon as it makes its way through a variety of time periods and landscapes.
One Red Dot
David A. Carter
One Red Dot is definitely better for children who have learned not to grab and tear books, but I can’t resist including it. Each intricately engineered fold-out, pop-up page contains one red dot.
Many of the pages invite interaction through pull tabs. It’s not always easy to find that one red dot, but kids will have a lot of fun trying.
I hope this list has encouraged you to look out for some new books for your kids to explore. Once you start reading interactive books with your kids you will find them asking “again! again!”
What are your favorite interactive books to read with your kids? Share your top picks with our community!
Happy Reading! Erica (aka “Mom and Kiddo”) is a SAHM to two very rowdy boys who love to read. She blogs at What Do We Do All Day? where she shares a new book list every Monday, easy indoor activities that her kids have tested out in their tiny apartment and fun learning ideas for kids. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.