Now your baby is one, you probably want to add some new books to their collection. But what should you be looking for? I’ve outlined the best types of books for one-year-olds to make it easier for you to find books you can enjoy together.
Your one-year-old is most likely on the move by now, and is finally in a position to let you know which books they do and don’t like (they will most likely bring the one same book to you again and again!).
Now is a great time to have books easily accessible for them so they can ask for a story when they want one. Think about popping some books in with their toys, or having a bookshelf or book box in their rooms.
But what types of books should you buy for a one year old?
1. Bright coloured books
Bright colours and bold illustrations are really appealing for little people. Don’t get put off if you think there’s not a lot to them – at this age, it’s important for your little one simply to have access to books and to enjoy the experience. After a few reads through, you’ll often find new elements in the book to point to, talk about, or even count.
2. Sound books
Babies love sound books – not just for the tunes they noisily emit, but also because they get to press the buttons. My advice would be to choose sound books with a tune you can tolerate…you’re going to hear it a lot!
3. Interactive books
Babies learn so much through touch and what better way than to enjoy books than through interacting with them. Look out for flaps (the sturdier the better – fabric flaps are my personal favourite), touch and feel (the Usborne That’s Not My… series is the Rolls Royce of this genre), and tabs to pull (you’ll need to do this at first, but little ones will soon start to try for themselves, and it’s a great way to develop their pincer grip which helps cutlery and pencil control).
4. Indestructible books
One-year-olds are surprisingly strong, and books are often one of the first casualties of their eagerness to play and explore. If you’re worried your little one might rip or eat the books you buy for them, you should definitely check out these Indestructible books. They’re chew-proof, rip-proof books that feel like paper and are fully waterproof so are perfect for little people. They’re light too, so easy for your one-year-old to turn the pages and explore themselves, and for you to pop in the change bag.
5. Books with photo images
My boys loved photo books as babies. They’re really colourful and because they’re a photo rather than an illustration, the images are an exact replica of the real thing (a truck, an animal, some food). These books usually have one image per page or themed pages (such as farm animals or boats), and they’re great for developing vocabulary; I can’t tell you how many different animal names my boys learnt from books like these.
6. Bath books
Bath books are brilliant – not only for bath play (as it says on the tin!), but they can also be used in any water or messy play indoors or out, and they’re great for teething babies and those that like to pop pretty much everything in their mouths! They’re pretty sturdy and soft, so fine to mouth on, and they’re so easy to clean. What’s more, a lot of them have interactive elements like squeakers or squirters, so they’re lots of fun too.
7. Short stories
Reading with your little people can be so rewarding. If you haven’t already introduced story books, now is a great time. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself, as it’s really common for babies to not sit through a whole story. Start with something pretty short, to get your one-year-old used to the story format, and if they don’t want to finish the book, or just want to spend the time looking at one page, then go with it. Story time should be fun, not stressful!
Some of our favourite shorter story books include Where’s My Teddy, Too Many Tickles (this is a fun, interactive one so definitely NOT a bedtime read!), A Squash and a Squeeze, and One Mole Digging a Hole.
If you’re not sure how to read to your baby, you can pick up some tips from this post about reading with your baby.
Now you know what types of books to look for, pop on over to my shop to browse the wide range of brilliant value books on my 3 for £10 deal.