TRC Read to Kids

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Interactive Books

There are SO many kids books available today. Books to take into the bathtub or to attach to a stroller, books with flaps, books with textures, books with multiple endings, sticker books, maze books -- the variety is mind-boggling. 

Interactive books are a great way to get kids excited about books. Whether lifting flaps, searching for clues or chiming in, these books require the reader's engagement. 

Interactive books can build skills. Touch-and-feel books build sensory awareness as kids finger soft fur, smooth balls and sticky frog's tongues. Books with flaps can help build toddler's prediction and fine motor skills. Kids who have tons of energy can pour their effort into lifting all of the flaps a book has to offer. 

Interactive books also allow kids to help "read" books well before they are able to read the words on the page. In the video below, an18-month-old helps read Where's Spot? by lifting the flaps and responding to questions.

Interactive books for babies and toddlers include the following:
  • Books with flaps, including Where's Spot? by Eric Hill,
  • Touch-and-feel books, such as the DK Touch-and-Feel series and Tails by Matthew Van Fleet,
  • Books made with interesting materials like pages of cloth or plastic,
  • Books that make noise (such as animal sounds) or play music.
  • Books with finger puppets, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar Finger Puppet Book.

Interactive books are just as important for older kids. Interactive books -- like sticker books, search-and-find books and books with optical illusions -- can be some of the few books that appeal to kids who are intimidated by a page full of text. Having fun and feeling successful with interactive books will help these kids see themselves are readers.  

For kids in the upper elementary grades, the Choose Your Own Adventure series by R. A. Montgomery is popular because it gives kids the power to determine how the story unfolds. At the end of each section of the story, readers decide between two options, each of which leads to different plot developments. The series has recently been expanded into versions for younger readers. 

Interactive books for school-aged kids include the following:

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