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As a mom, reading with my girls has always been one of my favorite things to do. Incorporating reading into your daily routine is a great way to bond with baby and supports early language and literacy skills.
As a Speech Pathologist, I love using books in my therapy because they provide tons of fun learning opportunities. Animal books are awesome because most babies and kids love them and they are packed with lots of things to learn about and talk about.
Here are some of my favorite animal books for little ones. There are some authors that have even more than one great animal book. Enjoy!
First 100 Animals
This vibrant book has tons of wonderful real photos of animals of all kinds. It teaches about categories by labeling pages with titles, like, “pets,” “babies,” and “farm animals.” The photos are labeled with the name of the animals, which is great for early literacy skills. This book is like an animal encyclopedia for babies and toddlers! There are so many fun ways to interact with this book. Name animals, have baby point to animals, talk about how the animals are alike and different, practice animal sounds, talk about features of the animals (size, shape, colors, etc.), and so many more possibilities.
Roar, Roar Baby by: Karen Katz
This book has the cutest illustrations of babies and animals! The little boy in the story is looking for a tiger and the book asks “yes/no” questions (“is the little tiger behind the bamboo leaves?”) as he tries to find it. This book is also great for learning about prepositions (on, behind, etc.).
Touch and Feel Farm by: DK
What a wonderful baby book! This book has real pictures of animals and encourages baby interact with the book by touching the soft animal fur. The book has great descriptive words to describe the animal’s fur (like: furry, fluffy, and velvety). The vivid pictures provide great opportunities for using many different adjectives to describe the way the animals look and their features.
Farm Peekaboo by: DK
This adorable book has lots of great photos of babies, a variety of objects to name, great descriptive words, and “wh” questions (“where is the wooly sheep?”) to answer. The flaps are fun for your curious baby to lift in order to find out what is behind each picture.
Discovery Farm by: Lamaze
This is a great soft book for infants to explore. The animal pictures are super cute and the book models animals sounds (like, “moo, neigh, oink and baa”), this allows baby to hear and practice early speech sounds. The book also has movable animals that have velcro and snaps that are great for practicing following directions (e.g.”put the duck in the pond”) and for fine motor skills. Learning to follow simple directions, as baby gets older, builds their receptive language skills (their understanding of language).
Panda Pals by: Lamaze
This cute soft book features lots of black and white animals and stripes, which is great for stimulating newborn vision development. It’s also fun to talk about the animals and how they are alike and different. They may all be black and white, but they have lots of differences that are fun to describe to baby.
Sandra Boynton Books
Moo, Baa, LaLaLa by: Sandra Boynton
This is a silly and fun book that is so great for learning about animals sounds (“moo, baa,” etc.). It also has a fun twist that will give you a laugh, when animals say something silly that you wouldn’t expect. Little twists like this are great to teach children about thinking flexibly and creativity.
Doggies by: Sandra Boynton
This is a fun book about dogs that incorporates counting, different types of dogs, and different sounds that dogs can make (“woof, yap”). It also teaches about opposites (big and small, quiet and noisy) and colors (black, yellow, white).
What an adorable rhyming book! Reading rhyming books to baby supports early literacy skills. This sweet story about a parent and child that uses pictures and words to demonstrate the love between them is filled with sweet words like: “love, hugs, and kisses.” This book is great for encouraging bonding and who doesn’t love giving their baby hugs and kisses?
What are your favorite books to read with your little ones? Share in the comments below!
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