Reading books with your infant is not only an enjoyable bonding experience for both parent and child, it is also very beneficial to the growth and development of the child’s social, language, and emotional skills, as well as their attention span, curiosity, and imagination. Research has shown that reading with infants can boost their vocabulary and reading skills before they are set to begin elementary school. It may not seem like it at first when your child is constantly flipping pages or grabbing different books all the time, but making a habit of reading to your child will improve their attention span and their ability to concentrate as well.
So, we know reading with our children is good for them in many ways… but how do you know which books to actually get for your child? Infants and toddlers aren’t particularly picky readers, but there are definitely some books they seem to like more than others. We have acquired quite the collection of books for Saleh starting before he was born and we continue to add to it. Over the past year he has settled on around ten of them that he not only enjoys, but actively chooses himself for us to read every day. These also make great gifts for other children, especially as I think most parents would much rather see their young ones playing with a book than a plastic toy that will be forgotten about fairly quickly. So without further ado, here is a curated list of ten great books for your one-year-old, hand picked by a one-year-old!
Night Night Farm by Roger Priddy
With beautiful illustrations that are full of color and stars that glow in the dark, this is a very visually appealing book that’s great for bedtime. My son likes to put his finger to his lips and say “shhh” for every animal that he sees going to sleep.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
A classic in children’s literature, and another bedtime favorite. My little one loves to point out all the different animals and objects on each page, providing a great opportunity to expand and work on his vocabulary.
The Wheels on the Bus: Wild Safari (Poke-A-Dot!) by innovativeKids
A story, song, and activity all in one! This is one of my son’s absolute favorite books because it combines his love for the Wheels on the Bus song, animals, and he gets to poke the popping dots on each page. This is a great book to really engage your child’s senses.
Kiss Me by Anna Jones
A great book for parent/child bonding, this sweet story presents many opportunities to give your little one kisses while reading each page. Also has several pages that are filled with a variety of objects which is great for helping your child learn to identify things.
Let’s Imagine on the Farm by Fisher-Price
Kids love books with little flaps all over, and that’s something this book does well. It also has activities/tasks listed on each page for when your child gets a little older and can count objects. My son loves farm animals, and with the flaps you get to see those animals change positions and actions with each flap that is opened. A diverse portrayal of characters in the book is also a nice touch.
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Another classic children’s story. My little one’s favorite thing about this book is imitating the baby bird’s actions as it looks for its mother. This book is great for those looking for illustrations that aren’t overly busy and instead focus on the story’s main elements.
Who Lives in the Rainforest? by Nora Pelizzari
If you’ve noticed the pattern by now, yes my son is fascinated with animals (I mean who isn’t?). This is another book that utilizes flaps well, hiding animals behind them for your child to uncover. The flaps encourage engagement and action from your child which is always great in any book. My son learned to identify tigers, monkeys, elephants, and butterflies just from this book alone. It’s no surprise it’s one of his favorites.
Sneak-a-Peek: Words by Roger Priddy
A great first book, it’s simple, with colorful large illustrations to capture your child’s eye. As my son grew, he loved this book more and more, especially when he started playing peek a boo with the mirror.
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
One of the most colorful children’s books I have seen. The journey of the ten little ladybugs takes you throughout the forest and gives an up close look at many different animals. While he still can’t count on his own, my son loves to watch me count the ladybugs on each page. The rhyming pages gives a nice flow to the words as well. Your child will love to touch and feel the ladybugs with their hands, promoting sensory engagement and hand eye coordination.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Rounding out our list is another timeless classic. My husband and I both read this book as kids, and we are delighted to keep that tradition going with our little one. He loves the large, colorful illustrations of the animals with their unique art style. This is a fantastic book to teach your kid about animals and colors.