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Best Activity Books for Babies and Toddlers
Updated on
October 31, 2023

Best Activity Books for Babies and Toddlers

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Best Activity Books for Babies and Toddlers

Reading to babies and toddlers is engaging, bonding, and has educational benefits, even when they’re that young. It’s a great idea to grab some classic books for your baby’s library to start young, but educational books, like those that teach the ABCs are also great. Interactive books also bring a lot to the table.

Part book, part toy, these delightful interactive books engage the senses and introduce kids to new sights, sounds and textures—and they’re a whole lot of fun too! If you’re trying to get bay engaged in multiple ways, you can also check out our best activity centers and play gyms.

Tactile Learning

From the sticky suction cups that line octopus tentacles to the sandpaper skin of the gray shark, this book invites readers and pre-readers to reach out and feel an underwater world of wonder.

Touch and Explore the Ocean


Press, shake, tilt, turn! This book leads readers on an adventure, prompting young minds to engage in page-turning play. With a bright rainbow color palette that seems to leap off the page, the simplicity of this book design has a way of activating the mind and encouraging creativity.

Press Here


“Busy books” are super popular boredom defeaters for school-aged kiddos, usually filled with tactile activities and puzzles to keep their minds (and hands) occupied. This soft-sided book offers the same interactive experience for older babies and toddlers with activities like buckling Velcro shoes, count the caterpillar’s feet and match the shapes. Keep in mind: This activity book comes with a few small-ish pieces that detatch, so little ones should be watched carefully as they play with this book.

Melissa & Doug's My First Activity Book


This book is like bubble wrap that never ends! The tiny buttons make the same “pop” and “click” you get from poking bubble wrap, but they never deflate. It’s great for building fine motor skills, not to mention it’s super satisfying.

Melissa & Doug Poke-A-Dot: Old McDonald's Farm


Hide & Seek, Lift & Look

Where are all the forest animals hiding? Behind the tree! Under the leaf! Beneath the Log! This game of hide-and-seek will keep baby entertained for longer than your usual game of peek-a-boo, and eventually your little one might get good enough to start hiding the ball on their own.

Lamaze Peek-a-Boo Forest Cloth Book


This is the first of the popular Spot books in a toddler-proof board book edition. Written for the author’s two-year-old son, the book first came out in 1980 and has won over generations of readers. The story is simple—it’s a cute puppy on a hunt—and the clear language is accessible for those who are just learning to use their words.

Where's Spot?


This book is hiding something…something fun! Watch fish, ducks and frogs leap from their hiding places as your little one pushes the sliders up, down, in and out. The sliders are just the right size for tiny fingers to practice dexterity.

Hoppity Frog: A Slide-and-Seek Book


Llama Llama can’t find his fuzzy llama! Where could it be? Behind the door? Under the bed? Kids love lifting the flaps to find Llama’s snuggly mini.

Llama Llama Hide & Seek: A Lift-the-Flap Book


Noisy Fun

Moo! Oink! Gobble gobble! Polish up your farm noises with these 30 unique sound buttons (including turtle, butterfly and dragonfly instrumentation). And along with all the fun, silly noise-making, your little one will love learning to match the images in the book and on the sound pad.

Around the Farm 30-Button Sound Book (World of Eric Carle)


Part book, part toy, all noisy fun. This hybrid activity table opens like a book and can either lay flat on the floor or stand up on its legs. It comes with three modes (reading skills, math & numbers and music) and offers 120+ sounds, phrases and activities for busy little hands.

Fisher-Price Sit-to-Stand Giant Activity Book

What sound does a train make? What about a firetruck? Vehicle-loving little ones will love learn all about the sounds these things that go make and they’ll get to practice some fine motor skills while turning the interactive gears.

Turn, Crank, Zoom! A STEM Gear Sound Book


This press-and-listen book plays short clips of calming lullabies that go along with different yoga poses, from Cat-Cow to Shavasana. There are even directions for how to introduce and perform the poses with your little one making this a great interactive book to read with your baby or toddler.

Yoga with Friends: Press and Listen!



Chronicle Books’ bestselling finger puppet books are always a hit with little ones. From newborn up through preschool, your kiddo is bound to squeal with delight as you move the finger puppet around—just be sure to add some neighing in there too.

Little Horse: A Finger Puppet Book


All About Bodies

This lift-the-flap book is a fun and intuitive anatomical primer for little ones. Readers lift flaps to locate the baby character’s belly button, feet, hands and more. Read it with your child and have them point out their own body parts as they learn. And you can continue the lesson with the follow-up book, Toes, Ears, & Nose.

Where Is Baby's Belly Button? Board Book


These animals can all move in particular ways; can you? With simple, straightforward directions, the book instructs little ones to get moving and discover what their bodies can do, just like gorillas, giraffes, donkeys and more.

From Head to Toe


Babylist Staff

Babylist editors and writers are parents themselves and have years of experience writing and researching, coming from media outlets like Motherly, the SF Chronicle, the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and the fields of early childhood education and publishing. We research and test hundreds of products, survey real Babylist parents and consult reviews in order to recommend the best products and gear for your growing family.

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