Activities for Kids / Staying In / Things To Do

11 Books to Make Your Toddler Smile

Press Here by Herve Tullet

This silly book tops the list for one reason: Kids absolutely go crazy for it. “Press Here” takes a bit of imagination, but the payoff is well worth the fun and adventure it but it brings to both adults and kids! The interactive book has readers pressing, shaking, tilting the book, then flipping the pages to see what the heck happens. The fact is, nothing really happens, but it’s an exciting and fun way to teach kids about cause and effect. It’s a great, magical escape with no need for batteries.

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Every kid has dreamed their favorite stuff animal comes to life and joins them on the day-to-day play time. An adorable bear does just that in the series named after him, “Corduroy.” Written by Don Freeman in 1968, these tales have become classics as children and adults alike are captivated by the sweet adventures the two have together. 

Potty by Leslie Patricelli

This book has plenty of parents saying this book by Leslie Patricelli has been just the right one for their kids during their potty training days. The baby in the story (whose gender is unidentified, so it’s great for boys and girls alike), asks the question, “Should I go in my potty?” As kids answer for the baby, they often answer it for themselves. The book ends with the baby going potty in the potty and celebrating, encouraging potty training kids to do the same. 

M is For Me

There’s nothing like your name in print, and this personalized book puts your child and his or her name right on the pages of a fun and beautifully illustrated book. From Pottery Barn kids, it’s a great way to teach kids about important values and the alphabet too, as there’s one for every letter.  C is for caring… P is for patient… U is for understanding. You can choose either a pink cover with a bunny or a blue cover with a fox, and the title will reflect their name. For example, “S is for Sam.” It’s a sweet and personal gift that’s sure to be a treasured part of their library for years to come.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

“The Snowy Day” is part of a series of award-winning children’s books that depict the adventures of Peter, a small Black boy navigating and discovering the city on a snowy day. The 1962 picture book is praised for being the first book to break the color barrier in mainstream children’s publishing and it focuses on Peter’s curiosity and bravery as he grows up in a multi-cultural urban setting.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan

When the little girl in “When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree” makes her birthday list, it’s filled with electronic devices. So, when her grandma gives her a lemon tree, she’s not exactly thrilled. What she comes to discover, however, is how amazing nature can be, and how you can turn lemons into lemonade. The story is peppered with gardening tips, life lessons, and even includes a recipe for lemonade. 

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

Herve Tulllet continues to mix up what we expect from children’s books in this aptly titled book “Mix It Up.” Much like his other beloved book “Press Here,” it’s an interactive book that’s powered by nothing other than a child’s imagination. It helps kids learn their colors, how they mix together and how beautiful they can make the world. 

Eric Carle’s ABC by Eric Carle

Who better to learn one’s ABC’s from than beloved author and illustrator Eric Carle. In his book “Eric Carle’s ABC,” he takes readers through the alphabet with his beautiful, quirky illustrations. Each page has a flap adorned with a letter, and when the flap is lifted, an animal that starts with that letter is revealed. A..ant, B… bear, C…camel, and on and on they go. 

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Ringer

Kids who are fascinated with trucks, tractors and other big movers and shakers, will love ending the day with “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site” by Sherri Duskey Ringer and Tom Lichtenheld. It tells the story of what happens when the day is done and it’s time for the equipment, including a cement mixer, bulldozer, and crane, to say good night.

Green Eggs and Ham By Dr. Seuss

It should come to no surprise that kids can be picky eaters and this Dr. Seuss classic is a great way to tempt them into trying new foods. You may not be planning to serve up green eggs or ham, but the book is a fun way to encourage trying new foods. It’s a straight-up, Dr. Seuss fun with the illustrations and fun rhyming schemes we’ve all come to know and love from the good doc!

Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton knows how to deliver the silly, and her “Belly Button Book” does that and then some. Its catchy, rhyming text makes it a delight as a group of hippos discover their “Bee-bos,” also known as belly buttons. They take those belly buttons to the beach—Belly Button Beach, in fact—“Where tons of hippos stand around in bathing suits too little because they hope you will admire the button on their middle.” Whimsical and sweet, it’s a fun read and ends with some lyrics from one of Boynton’s delightful songs on the same topic: “Ooo, belly button, you’re oh so fine! Ooo belly button I’m so happy you’re mine!”

This article was repurposed from Enormous thank you to them for being an amazing resource on all things family.

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