While videos and other media might be far more popular in this day and age, books are still so important for the development of young minds. And, in addition to developing your child’s cognitive skills, you’re hopefully inspiring a love for books that your child will hold onto for a lifetime, which will promote an endless cycle of learning.
But, what are the best types of books to read to young children? With so many choices out there, it is often difficult to decide on what is best. And, with different types of books acting as different forms of stimulation, you need to be concerned with choosing a good variety.
But, if this sounds a little scary to you, never fear. We’re here to offer some handy tips on choosing a good variety of books for your child. And, once you’ve decided on a healthy selection of reading material, we can even help you with a beautiful wooden children’s bookcase. Perfect!
The Best Types of Books for Your Baby or Toddler
1. Picture Books featuring High Contrast Images
We use our retinas to distinguish slight differences in shades and colours. However, babies’ eyes are still developing, and their retinas aren’t yet ready to be able to distinguish subtleties. So, if were to buy your baby a book full of similar-looking pastel colours, they might just all blur together.
This is why picture books featuring images of high contrast are ideal for babies’ eyes. Their developing retinas are much better at picking out these contrasting colours, and these types of books actually stimulate the development of eyesight.
A great example of a high contrast picture book is Spot the Dot by David A. Carter. This book is based on Carter’s app of the same name and is full of interactive fun with colours. Though it is perfect for the eyesight development of babies, it greatly appeals to toddlers and pre-schoolers as well.
2. Board Books
Board books are excellent for small children simply because they can take a beating. They are usually made from hard board that has been laminated, making it waterproof. The pages usually have rounded corners as well, which make them less sharp if (or, rather, when) they end up in your little one’s mouth.
There are loads of classics to choose from when it comes to board books. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, for example, has been a favourite for generations. In this one, the caterpillar eats its way through all sorts of foods and leaves a variety of holes into which curious little fingers fit perfectly.
Another undeniable favourite is Goodnight Moon which delivers beautifully simple rhymes that are perfect for bedtime (more on that later).
3. Books with Rhymes
Speaking of rhymes, look out for these types of books as they are excellent to read to your children. This is because rhymes teach your kids how language works. By drawing similarities between words which sound the same, they build the foundations for the understanding of spelling. Rhyming also helps children predict upcoming words, which is very important in reading. Following on from the last word, their brains will begin searching their vocabulary for words which are likeliest to be used to complete the rhyme.
Naturally, anything by Dr Seuss is ideal in this category. But there are plenty of other beautiful books making up this genre. Madeline, for example, is another classic book which tells the tale of a little schoolgirl in Paris. While the rhyme isn’t always as clean as you might like, it does get young minds thinking as they try to connect the rhyming words.
Also, look out for brilliant books like Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Trashy Town, Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, and Ten on a Sled. These are among this great list of 25 rhyming picture books.
4. Tactile Books
The idea behind tactile books is developing your child’s sense of touch while you are inspiring a love of books. These books contain textures on each page which your child can touch, and this is usually worked into the story, which helps with learning.
Great examples of tactile books are Playtime Stories, Touch! My Big Touch-and-Feel Word Book, and Noisy Dinosaurs (in which kids can both feel and hear the dinosaurs).
You can find these and others on Google’s shopping tab for touch and feel books.
5. Alphabet and Counting Books
Alphabet and counting books are excellent for introducing your kids to language and maths. These books keep the content very light so as not to overwhelm children, but they are perfect for making early steps towards these subjects and becoming more comfortable with letters and numbers. Then, when your kids start to learn the actual principals involved with languages and maths, it’s not all new and scary.
My First Bumper Colouring Fun: ABC and 123, Richard Scarry’s Best First Book Ever, and Kansas Jayhawks ABCs and 1-2-3s are very popular books in this category. There are also some timeless alphabet books out there, if you want to go with something tried and trusted.
6. Bedtime Stories
Bedtime stories are actually much more important than merely keeping tradition alive. These stories actually help your little ones get into the right mental state for sleep. They’re calming, and the rhythm of rhyming books helps lull them gently to sleep. This is why we mentioned Goodnight Moon as being a great bedtime book. Also, by reading bedtime stories about getting ready for bed and saying goodnight, you reinforce the idea that it’s time to sleep.
There are plenty of good options in this category, but, if you’re having trouble finding any, you could try an online list of best bedtime books.
Classic kids’ books are great because they’re the books you loved when you were young, so they’re special to you. This is a great way of passing some of your favourite things down to your child. Plus, they’re fun for you to read, and there’s no law against you enjoying your reading time just as much as your child. In fact, it’s encouraged.
What constitutes a classic? Well, there’s no need to get specific. Anything you loved when you were young is absolutely perfect!
Your Baby Needs Books
They’re important for learning and development, but books are also just a whole lot of fun. And, when you’re a kid, anything fun is worth its weight in gold. So, be sure to give your child the experience of books at a young age and let the rewards roll in. If you’re lucky, you’ll inspire a love for literature that will never die!
The CT Team x