Little Sir turned two late last year, and already, I can see how different his learning style is from his sister. The little guy loves to MOVE! Finding books that make him stay and listen is quite tricky.
Toddlers are always on the go, and they love imitating and experimenting with the way their bodies move. Books that allow them to do both are sure to be fascinating and exciting. And of course, parents who do all the imitating and experimenting with them make story time one hundred times more fun and effective.
So lately, I’ve been rummaging through our bookshelves looking for the books that my older daughter and I enjoyed a few years ago. I found some really cool books that I remember reading over and over. These books now make me and my little boy run, kick, blow, wave, and jump. They inspire my guy to do his favorite things and give him the satisfaction of saying “I can do that, Mama!” And to tell you the truth, his Mama can do it too!
Here’s what we have so far. Do let me know of similar books on your bookshelf please!
1. BALLOON by Jez Alborough
This book actually inspired this blog post. I did not realize that it was a movement book until I picked it up and Little Sir started following what Billy, the boy in the story, does as he plays with his balloon. We wave, run, kick, throw, catch, and many more with this one!
2. CLAP YOUR HANDS by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
This has been a favorite since my daughter was two years old. Little children would love following the silly instructions in the book, including “Hop like a bunny, flap like a bird.”
3. FROM HEAD TO TOE by Eric Carle
Eric Carle books are always fun, and this book is an exceptionally good one. Kids love following the different ways that different animals move!
4. THE ANIMAL BOOGIE by Debbie Harter
I remember singing and dancing this over and over with Little T and I’m gearing up now to do the same for my little boy. “Shake-shake, boogie woogie oogie!”
5. HOP-SKIP JUMP-A-ROO ZOO BY Jane Belk Moncure
This is a wonderful book to introduce counting AND simple movement activities. You will find yourself on the floor wiggling like a crocodile, fluttering like an owl, and stretching your neck like a giraffe. The best part is answering the question, “Andy can do that too. Can you?”
6. BARNYARD DANCE by Sandra Boynton
A funny and rhythmic story by Sandra Boynton!
“Bounce with the bunny.
Strut with the duck!
Spin with the chickens now-
Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!”
7. DANCING FEET! by Lindsey Craig
A toe-tapping, animal guessing game that will make you want to sing it, much like the Animal Boogie. Marc Brown of Arthur’s Nose as illustrator makes this book a must-have!
I hope this post inspires you to read AND move with your active toddler. As they say, there are no children who do not like to read, only children who haven’t found a book they like yet. Maybe the books I cited above, as well as similarly-themed books, will do the trick for you and your little one.
If you want to read more about reading to toddlers, click here. I wrote it a few months ago as a response to a reader’s question.