Babies are tactile! That means they love to explore their world with their hands. Touch and feel board books are a great option to keep them entertained and introduce them to the wonderful world of books. Sensory books are designed from thick heavy pages that can withstand the wear and tear of little fingers. Reading is one of the best things you can do with your infant or toddler to set them up for success. Reading is wonderful for your child’s brain development and exposes them to new vocabulary words to help them make sense of the world. But which touch and feel board books are the best? Here are some to get you started:
1. Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
I’m starting off this list with my all time favorite touch and feel book. This book has soft, hairy, bumpy, and even stinky experiences for little hands to explore. It also has moving parts like tails that swish. This book makes reading fun and engaging.
2. Never Touch a Porcupine!
Each page of this book has a bright colorful silicon texture to feel. This book series by Make Believe Ideas has quite a few in their collection that are all bright, colorful and they rhyme in a really fun way.
3. Peekaboo Kisses
It squeaks and peeks! There is a page in this book with a squeaker as well as many great textures for baby to feel. Babies and toddlers love opening the flaps to see what’s behind each one.
4. Just Narwhal
Rhyming text that tells a fun story about a narwhal who is sad she’s not a mermaid but learns her worth. This book has sequins built into it which make for an interesting texture.
What makes a rhino different from a unicorn? What’s a Rhinocorn? The sequins on the cover of this book create two different patterns depending on which way they lay.
6. ABC Touch & Feel: B is for Bear: A Very First Book for the Baby You Love
The pictures in this touch and feel book are real photographs not illustrations. This makes the book ideal for families interested in Montessori style learning. It’s a nice rhyming book with lots to touch and explore. What a fun way to start introducing your baby or toddler to the alphabet.
7. Never Touch the Sharks
Babies love the multiple smaller silicone textures on each page. Also, the content of this board book is a slightly higher reading level more appropriate for a toddler. Your toddler can count along with you as you touch and feel these five snappy sharks.
8. Touch Think Learn: ABC
There are cut outs on every page of this book to touch and feel. It’s a big thick book with rich colors that your little alphabet learner will love. This book is great for infants and toddlers to start getting interested in letters and when it’s time to start kindergarten and learn the ABC’s pull this book out again to start finger tracing the letters.
9. Bright Baby Touch & Feel Baby Animals
This cute little colorful book has rhyming text and lots of textures for baby to feel. It’s perfectly geared towards infants. These little touch and feel books by Priddy are a great place to start for parents building up baby’s first bookshelf.
10. Sophie la girafe: Sophie’s Big Busy Play Book
This ten page book highlights familiar things little ones will love, including animals and toys, vehicles, colors, and shapes. It has large patches of touch-and-feel that appear throughout, from squishy foam on a bath-time ducky to fluffy fur on a rabbit, as well as sparkly foil, glitter, and bumpy details.
11. Baby Touch and Feel: Trucks
Like the title suggests this book is perfect for baby. It has simple clear pictures and words as well as engaging textures. These board books are inexpensive and the perfect small size for tucking in a diaper bag. These little board books are a good cost effective way to build you little one’s book shelf.
12. Pat the Bunny
Pat the Bunny is one of the original sensory board books! This great little book has been entertaining babies for over 60 years. It’s a classic touch and feel story that you may recognize from your own childhood.
13. Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet
Animals, colours and shapes are sure to entertain in this peek-a-boo lift the flap book. This book is great for a newborn all the way to preschool, you can even count the groups of animals for added learning and numeracy skills. And of course, there are lots of textures to explore too.
14. Bright Baby Touch & Feel On the Farm
Lots of farm animals to touch and feel. This little board book has bright colours and soft textures. It’s a simple ten page book that’s perfect for your youngest reader.
15. Bright Baby Touch & Feel At the Zoo
Another Bright Baby Touch and Feel board book worth mentioning is the ‘at the zoo’ theme. These little books are perfect for infants. Reading to babies is truly a great way to introduce them to the world around them. The Bright Baby series features real photos instead of illustrations that will help baby learn to identify animals in the real world.
16. The Touch Book
Sticky, fluffy, smooth, soft. Let’s learn about textures in The Touch Book. This book is part of the ‘My World’ series inspired by Montessori learning, which places an emphasis on hands-on practical learning. This book also features real photos instead of illustrations.
17. Bright Baby Touch & Feel Perfect Pets
The last Bright Baby book I’ll feature is this one about pets! You can also purchase all three as a bundle for triple the fun about animals. I love how these books categorize animals into another smaller understandable niche like: farm, zoo, and pet, based on where baby is likely to find or see these animals in real life.
18. Never Touch the Wild Animals
Toddlers love the details in this book with so many illustrated critters and animals to see and touch. Babies love the rhyming cadence of the words. Everyone loves this book. There are multiple small silicone textures to feel on each page. This book is also great for counting backwards from 5 as an animal disappears on each page.
19. Baby Touch and Feel: Splish! Splash!
Textured patches and sparkly eye catching details will help capture the attention of your little one in this cute and fun board book. It’s a sturdy padded sensory book great for infants and toddlers.
20. Touch and Feel: Dinosaur
Smooth horns, sticky dino tongues and bumpy scales are sure to entertain your kiddo as you learn about dinosaurs together in this touch and feel book.
21. Never Squish a Unicorn!
If you put a horn on a panda does it become a pandacorn? How about on a cat, does it become a kitticorn? The squishy unicorn horn featured on the front page is a fun texture to touch while reading through this book.
22. Touch and Feel Fall: Scholastic Early Learners (Touch and Feel)
Apple bins at harvest time, colorful leaves, and pine cones. What are the signs of Fall? This padded little board book is a great way for our littlest learners to start to discover the seasons.
23. That’s Not My Elephant
That’s not my elephant its ears are too rough, its toes are too bumpy… will you find the elephant you’re looking for on the last page? There are so many board books in this series by Fiona Watt I had to highlight a few favourites here.
24. That’s Not My Unicorn
That’s not my unicorn, its mane is too fluffy… If you like this style of book be sure to check out the others by Fiona Watt like: that’s not my zebra, koala, squirrel, puppy, lion and robot.
25. That’s Not My Flamingo
That’s not my flamingo it’s feet are too rough, it’s tail is too fuzzy. I love how each of these books in Fiona Watts series introduces a new cool animal to kids. Naming parts of their bodies with each texture is great fun and good vocabulary practice.
26. Thats Not My Tiger
That’s not my tiger, its teeth are too bumpy, its nose is too fuzzy… This book in Fiona Watts series is particularly colourful and has a good variety of textures. These animal body parts sure do look different than ours! Talking about noses, teeth, and toes is a great way to build vocabulary and help babies and toddlers understand the world around them.
27. Jellycat: If I were a Bear Board Book
Jellycat is famous for their super soft stuffed animals. There are over 35 books in this series that each match their own stuffed animal that you could buy separately if you are interested. The Jellycat: If I were… series are very simple books suitable for babies, I find they have mostly soft textures and only about one small sentence of text per page. They make very thoughtful gifts for newborns and one year olds. They’re also great if your kiddo has a favourite animal that you want to read about such as: bear, dog, bunny, hippo, elephant, tiger, sloth, octopus, giraffe, turtle, bee, poodle, calf, fox, duck, dragon, kitty, koala, lamb, lion, llama, monkey, moose, owl, panda, pony, unicorn, and whale. They even have small touch and feel books that match some of their Christmas collection stuffed animals like: If I were an elf!
28. Jellycat: If I were an Octopus
I had to highlight just one more board book in this Jellycat series. This book can also be paired with the Jellycat plush octopus that has such wonderful textured tentacles for infants to explore. They love tangling their fingers in the mixture of soft fabric and ridged ‘suckers’. The book is cute and simple. It’s the perfect little size for your baby to hold by themselves.
29. Touch and Explore: Pets
There are more than 10 books in this Touch and Explore series: Bugs, Safari, Pets, Animals at Night, Dinosaurs, The Ocean, Baby Animals, Jungle, Farm, and more. These books are geared towards a preschool level of comprehension but that doesn’t mean you can’t read them to your infant or two year old. When reading a touch and feel book like this to a younger child you can let them explore the textures and images and even just pick out one or two words per page to read to them until they are older and more interested in the details.
30. Touch and Explore: Construction
Lift the flap to see how a bulldozer works and touch the bumpy roads, rough wood beams, and smooth concrete! This book is also a part of the Touch and Explore series above on this list at number 29. The Touch and Explore books are quite informative and help young readers discover more details about their world. They are great for vocabulary development and good conversation starters between you and your child.
31. Touch and Feel Fire Engine
Another great little book for your little one who wants to know everything about fire trucks! Turning pages helps develop fine motor skills and reading about these unique topics builds new object recognition and early literacy skills.