Why board books are loved by little ones
One of the best ways to make sure that your baby grows up to be a reader is to have books around your house. Board books should be a valuable part of a baby or toddler's collection of play things.
Board books have thick cardboard or vinyl pages. They are durable, easy to hold and highly graphic. When your baby is old enough to crawl over to a basket of toys, make sure plenty of board books are in the mix.
Board books make reading easy, accessible and fun
Young babies will show interest in books and start to explore them by chewing, throwing and batting them. This might not look like reading - but these activities are the first stages of early literacy and are a great way to start a lifetime of learning. At this age a sturdy board book will survive this love and be ready for more. Board books are captivating to young babies when they have some tummy time as they lift their head and gaze.
As babies get older they'll become less interested in mouthing the book and more interested in the story and the contents of the book. Board books enable young children to practice reading behaviour, explore text and pictures and investigate colours and shapes. You can promote early literacy skills by discussing pictures and inviting them to turn the pages. Because board books are such welcoming objects, babies see board books as rewarding and link them to precious bonding time with their parent, caregiver or sibling.
Five places your baby or toddler will find board books
- In the toy box - in amongst all the other play things
- In the car beside their car capsule or booster seat
- In the bath - (vinyl waterproof board books)
- In their carer's nappy bag or backpack ready for a visit to the shops or aunties
- In bed, ready for a bedtime story or when they wake up.
Board books at your local library
Ask your local public library staff for some touch and feel books or look for these titles and others in the same series on your next visit to the library.
- Shanks, Matt & Shanks, Matt (2019). Head, shoulders, knees and toes (Board book edition). Scholastic Australia, Gosford NSW
- Fox, Mem & Quay, Emma, (illustrator.) (2013). Baby bedtime. Viking, Melbourne
- Shanks, Matt & Shanks, Matt (2016). Row, row, row your boat. Scholastic Australia, Gosford, N.S.W
- Arrhenius, Ingela P & Arrhenius, Ingela P., 1967- (2017). Where's Mr Lion?. Nosy Crow Ltd, London
- Helen Oxenbury (1999). Clap Hands Board book (Brdbk edition). Little Simon