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- Interactive books are imaginative and develop multiple skills in kids including language and motor skills.
- It shows kids that fun doesn’t always have to come from an electronic device.
- These books are great options for parents who are trying to limit screen time.
How to Choose an Interactive Book
However, experts recommend that screen time should be limited for children. This can promote a healthier and active lifestyle. It can even promote better cognition and mental health.
Make Sure It is Age Appropriate
Make sure that the interactive book is age appropriate for your child. Interactive books require certain levels of reading and language comprehension, along with motor skills and causal reasoning.
Try choosing a book that is engaging enough for your child’s current abilities, but also challenging enough to help them grow.
Helps to Develop Multiple Skills
The best interactive books for kids allow them to practice motor skills like push, pull, turn, shake, along with reading and literacy skills. Unfortunately, many interactive books actually have minimal amounts of text. These don’t promote reading and language very well.
For example, many toys for very small kids involve simple interactivity, where kids push a button and a toy squeaks. But an interactive book should have more complexity, and not follow a simple button/response system.
What to Look Out for:
Text – A good quantity of age-appropriate reading and vocabulary for your child.
Interactions – Complexity in possible interactions, and not repetition.
Helps to Promote Creative and Critical Thinking
Try to find interactive books that promote creative and critical thinking.
Books with a button/response platform can put kids in a passive role. They’re only responding to prompts to generate the next action. There’s little in the way of critical or creative thinking.
Choose ones that encourage kids to engage with the words, and not only with the actions of the book.
You can also use reading time to develop these skills by asking “what do you think will happen next?” or “what might have happened differently?”
Here are our picks for the best interactive books that will both thrill and educate:
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Press Here is deceptively simple, interactive, and sheer magic. This New York Times bestselling book has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from adults and kids alike and can be enjoyed over and over again for years to come.
- Kids will love interacting with the book, following all the fun instructions, and finding out what happens next.
- Kids practice language and reading skills, along with all motor movement and control, in all the ways they physically interact with the book, for a whole new interpretation of screen-free “interactivity.”
- The book is not very ruggedly constructed and should be handled more carefully than a young child is likely to.
The Dinosaur Museum is a must-have for kids who love dinosaurs, and for all kids who like to solve puzzles and enjoy the discovery. This interactive book evokes a behind-the-scenes look at a natural history museum, complete with interactive features that let kids examine, explore, investigate, and learn. Many kids love dinosaurs, and this book is a great way to encourage an interest in science and discovery, as well as teach language and motor skills.
- The popups, pull-outs, wheels, and tabs add excitement and discovery while practicing motor skills.
- The detailed illustrations are interesting and informative to engage kids who love dinosaurs.
- There is a good amount of text and vocabulary in this book to develop reading skills
- Sturdy construction for repeated handling
- No negatives
The Ditty Bird Children’s Songs interactive book promotes learning and exploration in multiple ways. Merging music and language learning with interactivity and fun play is a great way to foster a child’s development, and kids love this book so much you may find yourself buying batteries more often than you expected.
- It teaches early reading and language skills with words and corresponding illustrations.
- Each page has a fun-to-find and press button, and the corresponding song plays.
- It has children’s songs, sung by children, for children.
- Requires batteries
Another fantastic interactive book by bestselling children’s author Herve Tullet, Let’s Play! offers new ways for kids to interact and play with the book while being entranced by the story. It’s an adventure for the mind and heart, and another innovative, immersive experience from Tullet.
- This book allows children to learn motor skills along with language and discovery, with entrancing illustrations that are deceptively simple.
- Kids want to “play” this book again and again, so it has lasting entertainment value.
- Not a lot of language or vocabulary building in the text
This activity book from National Geographic Kids offers so many exciting ways to learn about the earth, space, and even asteroids and aliens. So much more than a book, it features mazes, spelling games, drawing activities, pattern matching, and more, and comes with 1,000 fun space-themed stickers. This interactive book has hours of entertainment and fun activities and will be loved by kids for years.
- It helps to develop problem-solving, language, and motor skills.
- Promoting an early interest in STEM
- It isn’t a traditional sticker book. The stickers are a companion item, but it isn’t a sticker book per se.
The New York Times bestselling Touch the Earth is not only a fun and engaging interactive book for kids, but a portion of the proceeds go to support the White Feather Foundation and promote education, conservation, and protection of indigenous cultures. This beautiful book takes kids on a wonderful interactive adventure and will be loved and enjoyed for years to come.
- This interactive book encourages touching, exploring, and discovery, while teaching reading skills.
- Teaches a great message about our natural environment in a positive and playful way.
- Proceeds support charitable causes
This excellent set of 8 illustrated books feature your child’s favorite Disney characters from films such as Finding Dory, Cars, The Lion King, Tangled, and more. Kids can enjoy the e-reader independently from a young age, and gain confidence in reading along.
- They come packaged in a Me Reader that reads the book aloud, with fun expressive narration and sound effects.
- Kids have fun pressing the buttons to activate the stories, and the act of hearing and seeing the story helps to build reading and language skills.
This fun activity book has all kinds of images where kids can find Momo in all different types of pictures. It’s part art book and part puzzle book, and the incredible photographs are wonderful and engaging for kids and adults alike.
- Finding Momo is a great activity for small children, with hours of fun and excitement as they develop visual skills.
- Every page has different activities of things for children to find
- Momo is a beloved animal companion that kids adore.
- The book is not ruggedly constructed for small children and needs to be handled carefully.
The charming There’s a Monster in Your Book has page after page of interactive fun. Kids adore the cute monster and want to play with this book over and over again, making every reading a new act of interaction and discovery.
- The fun adventure of saving your book from the mischievous monster is a great way to motivate kids to interact with the book and tame the monster inside.
- Kids learn language and reading comprehension skills as they shake, tilt, tickle, blow on, and pet the monster to find out what he does.
The Pop-Up Peekaboo book has all kinds of adorable animals that jump from the page when the flaps are lifted.
- It’s full of fun, interactive surprises, and helps kids develop language and reading skills along with motor skills, as they learn to identify and describe different animals.
- The pop-up animals are appealing and fun, to engage even small children who love peekaboo games.
- The popup animals are made of paper and easily torn or crushed by eager grabbing so it may be better to save for slightly older children.
- The interactivity is a limited “peekaboo” over and over again and may bore some children
This Can You Find Me book has magical fairy tale illustrations, and children can find and seek their favorite characters under the flaps. The incredible drawings, charming and memorable rhymes, and interactive find-and-seek activities offer hours of enjoyment and exploration.
- Kids practice language, visual, and motor skills at the same time.
- It brings a new level of engagement to familiar fairy tale stories and characters and delights children of all ages.
- It’s a perfect companion to traditional fairy tales or Disney movies.
- Doesn’t tell entire fairy tale stories from beginning to end; it assumes children are already familiar with the story.
Splatter is a fun adventure that teaches children about colors and color mixing as they learn reading and language skills.
- It’s a great companion book to foster a child’s artistic exploration as they color and paint
- Has a great message about teamwork and working together.
- It has a list of suggested activities and learning discussions in the back for further exploration and more advanced learning.
- Kids may also want to get the companion sticker packs to explore the Splatter world further, but they are sold separately.
The Never-Bored Kid Book is an activity book full of puzzles, riddles, hidden pictures, drawing exercises, and more. It’s a great way to build skills and keep kids busy on long drives or in a restaurant, without relying on screens or electronics.
- It’s an excellent way for kids to keep busy for hours, and they can enjoy it independently even if they aren’t yet reading.
- The puzzles and activities teach visual discrimination, language skills, creative thinking, and muscle coordination, without feeling educational or boring.
- Many of the activities require cutting out with scissors, which is impractical for car trips.
The VTech Musical Rhymes book combines songs, activities, and written words in a way that will grow with your child. Even before they can read and understand the words, they will have hours of fun playing with all the different things this toy can do and learning critical skills along the way.
- The big, sturdy, brightly colored “pages” on this interactive book give it all the appeal and visual attraction of a toy.
- Sliding and twisting the different sturdy pieces reveals all kinds of surprises
- It also has light-up stars, piano playing keys with 2 playing modes, and 40+ songs, melodies, and phrases.
This activity book from National Geographic Kids is perfect for kids who love animals. It has mazes, spelling games, drawing activities, pattern games, and more. It also comes with over 1,000 animal-themed stickers, which kids will love.
- This activity book helps kids learn reading and language skills while teaching them about all kinds of animals and having fun at the same time.
- Each page features a different animal, with facts about the animal, a fun activity related to the animal, and a sticker find-and-place.
- It has hours of high-quality education and enjoyment for kids of all ages.
- Some included stickers are simply decorative and don’t go into the book
A great screentime alternative for active kids.
Reading is a critical life skill. With interactive books, kids can build reading and language comprehension in an active way. They spark the imagination and teach essential skills while keeping kids entertained. They’ll also likely be enjoyed over and over again.
For More Ideas:
- 11 Best Award Winning Toys For 1 Year Old
- 25 Best Open Ended Toys That Inspire Kids To Create
- Best Educational Toys For 4 Year Olds That Kids Will Love
What do you think? Leave me a comment!