The Best Board Books

The best board books for children are able to enhance a child's development through more than just the stories.  

You may have always thought the only benefit of a board book is durability, but they offer so much more!  Board books are designed for small hands and offer opportunity for a child's physical development in the area of eye-hand coordination, pincer grasp, sensory development and more!

5 Benefits of The Best Board Books:

  1. Eye-Hand coordination:  Board books are smaller and durable for little hands to explore.  Allow children to touch and hold the book, turning the pages, pointing & touching pictures.  They will try to put their mouth on it, but gently move it away and begin saying, "We read books; we don't eat them."
  2. Pincer Grasp:  This is when young children begin pinching and holding items between their thumb and pointer finger.  Turning the pages of a board book along with lifting flaps within them is ideal practice for this important skill.
  3. Sensory development:  Many of the best board books include a variety of textures for little fingers to safely explore.
  4. Shorter length:  Board books are perfect for shorter attention spans.  Most are much shorter in length and limit the amount of text included on each page.
  5. Durability:  The durability of board books make them safely portable to toss into a diaper bag or toy box.  They are meant to be handled by small hands making the joy of reading and exploring books available to the youngest child.

Best Board Books - 0-9 Months

During the earliest days of reading to a baby, the size of a book matters as you are trying to hold both the baby and the book.  Board books make this so much easier because of their smaller size and board pages which are easier to turn with one hand.

During these months babies begin to reach and grasp.  Board books are made to be touched and held by small hands; their pages won't tear.  Board books that offer various textures will help enhance sensory development too.

Rhyme, Rhythm & Repetition

Infants are incapable of understanding words and stories; so why read to them?  So much growth is actually taking place in their little brains we can't see...that's why! 

Science has shown us that the rhyme, rhythm and repetition of talking, singing and reading are some of the best ways to stimulate a child's brain development!

Reading the best board books full of these 3 R's will enhance your baby's development while also providing a special time of bonding.

Here are some of our favorite rhyming board books:

Touch and Feel Books

Some of the best board books include touch and feel elements which invite infants and toddlers to interact with the book.  This will also stimulate eye-hand coordination.

Pat the Bunny is probably one of the oldest and most well known touch and feel books.  Originally published in 1940 and written by Dorothy Kunhardt, this little book has delighted thousands of small children with its interactive touch and feel elements from Mummy's wedding ring to Daddy's scratchy beard!

With new textures and updated elements, there are a variety of this type board book from which to choose.  Consider your child's interests and learning age.  As your child grows, talk about what each element feels like whether it's soft, scratchy, slick, etc.  Book conversations initiate sound awareness and vocabulary development even in the early months. 

When choosing a touch and feel book, be aware of small pieces that could be pulled off or become a choking hazard. 

Best Board Books - 9 Months & up

Lift the Flap Books

The pincer grasp usually develops around 9-10 months of age.  Choosing board books which include flaps gives additional practice along with page turning.  Also, by this time children have a better eye-hand coordination to handle these.

Dear Zoo - by Rod Campbell

This became one of our granddaughter's favorite board books when she was about to turn one year old.  She had become adept at using her pincer grasp and this book gives ample opportunity to practice this skill.

A child writes to the zoo asking for them to send a pet.  Each animal is partially hidden by a flap the child can open.  This is a wonderful book for further developing eye-hand coordination with a "hide-and-seek" element that draws a child back time and time again.

In addition to physical development skills, children are exposed to a variety of zoo animals, color identification, and memory skills as they unveil the surprises.

First Words Books

Even before a child can begin to say words, they can begin identifying objects.  First words books provide photos or illustrations which they can identify when hearing the names of the objects.  This increases their vocabulary beyond items lying around the house.

One of my favorite First Words book is this one by Highlights.  It not only uses real photos for a child to identify, but it also incorporates lift-the-flaps and beginner questions about colors, shapes, etc.

More books for young children -