What Makes a Good Board Book?
Your little one is due to make their arrival any day and they are sure to be the cutest baby on the block! You have all of their clothes hung neatly in the closet, the nursery is set up, and their toys are safely stored in the toybox—but what about the books? Reading to your child is extremely important for not only developing their vocabulary and object recognition skills, but also for bonding with your child and fostering that abundant youthful imagination and curiosity. Which poses the question: how do you pick the right books for your new baby?
The Text: Concepts or Stories
Everyone loves a good story no matter their age. With board books, however, the story is often replaced with “point and say” opportunities using colors, shapes, numbers, and textures to give the child a more conceptual experience when enjoying the book. These features allow for more conversations and learning opportunities, which can offer different lessons and experiences each time the book is read. Board books that do have stories typically present them in a flowing rhyming fashion, which can help with language development and pattern recognition, and assist with putting your baby to sleep much sooner.
The Illustrations: Photos or Drawings
We all have memories of our favorite books from our youth with beautifully illustrated artwork adorning the pages. While those types of books are wonderful and help depict a fantastical world that promotes curiosity and wonder, books that use photographs instead of illustrations are extremely useful in your baby’s development. Seeing photographs of people and objects allows babies to better recognize their real-life counterparts because the visual representation is more accurate than an illustration. Babies also love to look at and study faces, so board books that offer photographs of people’s faces are always a hit!
The Mood: Soothing or Stimulating
It’s always important to think about the mood that the book you’re about to enjoy conveys, as well. Are you looking for something to coax a laugh from your little one, or are you trying to get them to drift off to sleep? Knowing the mood that the board book will convey before starting out can be extremely useful. Calming images with soothing colors and slow-paced text will undoubtedly help to get your baby ready for bedtime and will have them yawning before the book is done. A relatively cheap board book with bright colorful images and lots of exciting phrases, on the other hand, will have them wriggling around and giggling away as they join in on the fun. A few favorite soothing and stimulating books are a must-have in any parents’ board book collection.
Engaging the Senses: Texture or Manipulation
A baby’s hands are constantly grabbing at things and wanting to experience new feelings and textures, so books that offer this opportunity will surely be an instant favorite with any little one. Flaps that open, tabs to pull, crinkly pages to grip, and different textures to touch are all wonderful sensory opportunities for your child to help engage their senses and get a better understanding of the world around them. These types of books allow for babies to put the story in their own hands as they explore all of the different textures and hidden surprises these books have to offer.
The Content: Familiar or Unexpected
Even though it may not seem like it in those first few weeks(or even months in some cases) babies thrive when on a routine, so books that show familiar scenes that they can recognize and relate to are important to have in their library. Being able to play out the text while reading with your child is sure to thrill and excite them. Alternatively, introducing new and unexpected content to your child will allow you to see what truly interests them. Finding new areas of interest can help you better understand their likes and dislikes as they grow.
Starting your child off right with a good range of books can help encourage a love for reading from an early age that will last their whole life. Reading together will teach communication, memory and vocabulary skills, as well as introduce numbers, letters, colors, textures, and shapes in a fun and exciting way. There are many things to consider when picking out discount board books for your child such as text, illustrations, mood, sensory, and content—so be sure to grab a variety of books and have fun reading with your little one!