Hands-on Reading: Playing with Books

Kids like to touch stuff. They like to play with stuff. So why not incorporate hands-on reading into story time? This past spring, Chronicle Books sent us several of the books in their Busy Baby series.  We shared them with our reviewing families to read them their kids.

There is hands-on reading on every page of these sturdy board books. The face you see is a wooden circle painted happy on one side, and sad on the other. We don’t yet have the review for Busy Baby: Friends; but Busy Baby: Trucks was a huge hit.

Both children (ages 2 and 4) loved this book and loved turning the baby’s head back and forth. I loved the pictures in this book; it was different than any book that I have seen. Simple but good. It offered a lot. Fun pictures will engage vehicle lovers, problem solvers, and wiggly toddlers.

 

hands-on reading

 

Why Hands-on Reading?

In addition to giving wiggly toddlers something to do, books that offer hands-on activities can help with fine motor skills.  What set the Busy Baby series apart for us, though, was the different layers to the book. It’s not just a “discovery book” where you lift the flap, but one where children can learn opposites and emotions, as well.

Here are some other things to look for when searching for books with a high “play” factor.

  • Sturdiness. These are books that need to be able to take the wear-and-tear of hands-on reading and playing.
  • Ditto for any moving parts. Be alert for elements or pieces that can rip, tear, be separated, and/or swallowed.
  • Size. Books for hands-on activities need to be sized for the hands who will use them.
  • Simplicity. Ornate illustrations will overwhelm a hands-on reader. Most of the time, they’ll know what to do just by looking at the picture.
  • Brevity. Eight to ten events / activities is more than enough for most readers.

Do your toddlers and preschoolers have a favorite book they love to play with? Tell us about it in the comments. That way other readers can know about it, too.

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This Read It and Keep selection is part of our Gift of Literacy Pinterest board. There are additional recommendations on our Books Make the Best Gifts and Bookshelf Worthy Books for Your Home Library boards, as well.

We are taking a break from our Throwback Thursday Book Review schedule to focus on sharing gift ideas with a literacy twist. These are featured selections from our Gift of Literacy board on Pinterest.

 

Image links in this post go to our Pinterest Boards. Book title links go to Amazon.com. The Reading Tub has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com and can earn money on any purchases made through those links. 100% of any affiliate money is used to support The Reading Tub, a 501(c)(3) charity.

You can support The Reading Tub when you shop for gifts this holiday by visiting smile.amazon.com.

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Jokes Everyone Can Enjoy Laugh Out Loud Reads

When you’ve got kids of different ages, it isn’t always easy to find books where everyone can get the jokes.

family friendly jokes 

Jokes the Family Can Share

If family humor is what you’re looking for, then look no further than Jess Keating’s My Life is a Zoo series. The stories are fresh and fun. They would make a nice family gift that everyone can share as a read aloud, and they do equally well as a gift to keep pre-teens and teens reading (and laughing out loud!). Here are the titles in the series:

Check out our Series and Read Alikes and Series for New Readers boards on Pinterest for more books that combine family-friendly humor with great stories.

 

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This Read It and Keep selection is part of our Gift of Literacy Pinterest board. There are additional recommendations on our Books Make the Best Gifts and Bookshelf Worthy Books for Your Home Library boards, as well.

If you have a favorite bedtime story or one that is your go-to as a gift, be sure to leave a comment. We’d love to share your suggestions, too.

We are taking a break from our Throwback Thursday Book Review schedule to focus on sharing gift ideas with a literacy twist. These are featured selections from our Gift of Literacy board on Pinterest.

The image link in this post goes to our Gift of Literacy Pinterest Board. The book title links go to paperback versions of these books on Amazon.com.

You can support The Reading Tub when you shop for gifts this holiday by visiting smile.amazon.com.

support nonprofits on amazon

Gardens Grow Readers – More Gift Ideas

This may be the time when we “winterize” our gardens, but that doesn’t mean we have to put away our love for gardening! Besides, not all gardens grow outdoors … which leads me to our theme du’jour for literacy gift ideas for kids. 

gardens for kids

Gardens are gifts that Grow!

For kids who like to play in the dirt, gardening is a wonderful activity. There are so many directions that you can go when you pair a garden-y book with an activity. From science to sociology (and even patience), there is lots of learning packed in your gift! Here are some gift idea pairs that are sure to …

  • Pair your selected book with a kid-friendly gardening kit.
  • For teens and young adults who love the art of gardening, check out these coloring books.
  • Pair a coloring book with tickets to a botanical garden or visit to a farmer’s market.
  • Make plans to visit a farmer’s market, food cooperative, or farm to learn about gardens on a grand scale.
  • Sign up for and take a class together: how to make a terrarium, winter nature hikes, wreath-making, et al.
  • Bring The Secret Garden to life by giving the book with performance tickets or the soundtrack.

Here are some other books about gardens / gardening that pair well with activity-related gifts.

In thinking about the last book suggestion … a book and activity can be a nice gift for a grandparent, too, as it gives them the chance to share their knowledge and also get some together time with their grandchildren.

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These gift pairing suggestions, as well as our Read it & Keep series, can be found on our Gift of Literacy Pinterest board. Visit us on Pinterest to discover books and creative literacy recommendations for every audience from infant to teen. There are plenty of recommendations like Ivy and Bean on our Books Make the Best Gifts and Series for New Readers boards, as well.

Book title links go to The Reading Tub website reviews. The Gift of Literacy image links to our Pinterest Boards.

You can also support The Reading Tub when you shop for gifts this holiday by visiting smile.amazon.com.

support nonprofits on amazon