What type of toddler activity book does your child need? Before you invest in boxes of books, take a look at the questions to ask yourself.
How Will You Use the Books?
Activity books for toddlers have one obvious use—to actively engage toddlers. Even though you'll use this type of book as a way to help your toddler learn through hands-on play, you may also have sub-goals. The specific objectives you have for book use and your child's learning will guide the selection process. If you're not completely sure how you want to use these books, consider:
- Do you want your child to learn about a specific subject? Some parents use activity books as an early way to teach toddlers about a specific subject, such as animals, numbers, shapes, or letters. If you have a subject in mind, you'll need books with specific thematic content.
- Do you want your child to learn in a specific way? Activity books aren't all the same. Some of these books have pop-ups and sensory items for toddlers to touch, while other promote learning through writing or coloring tasks.
- Do you want your child to learn at a specific level? Your toddler may learn at a somewhat different rate compared to like-aged children. Before you select activity books, assess the content against your child's developmental level and needs.
An activity book should provide your toddler with a way to learn and develop new skills. This requires a book that does more than just meet their developmental needs. It should also push your child to build new abilities and master new content.
How Will Your Toddler Feel About the Book?
Interest level is crucial if you want your toddler to actively engage with any book. Even though you may have goals for your toddler's learning, they may have a very different idea of what they want to do. To choose an activity book that plays to your child's likes and interests:
- Ask your toddler to help choose a book. The selection process isn't a solo activity for mom or dad. Show the books to your toddler and allow them to help you to choose a few interesting picks.
- Think about your toddler's interests. Does your toddler talk constantly about trains, animals, or another subject? Choose activity books that focus on your child's existing interests.
- Expand your toddler's interests. Choose books that expand your toddler's existing interests into another area. Look for themes that closely relate to what your child already likes.
Don't let your toddler's picky nature discourage you. It's possible your child won't enjoy a book based on their supposed favorite character, animal, or color. If your tot doesn't respond to your first-choice selection, try again. What your toddler doesn't like today, they may adore tomorrow.