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Reading Levels

How to Use “Touch Books” with Your Baby

Worried that your baby will chance upon your misplaced iPad and tap their way down the digital rabbit hole? Give those digits something else to grasp! Touch books are like little magic portals, capturing the many different textures of the outside world and serving them up in a safe, baby-friendly format. Instead of apps, they offer fabric patches, raised elements, pullable tabs, sliders, and even cute finger puppets.

These fun features also stimulate the brain. Using touch, babies can take in new information in a concrete way that holds their attention, making them feel transported even as they learn to interact with what’s right in front of them. Ready to embrace this hands-on approach to reading? You have a helping hand in Literati.  

Touch books help develop cognitive skills

It’s fitting that touch books often center around a theme of discovery. There are far-away places to explore and hidden objects to find. In the process, babies also make discoveries about the tactile world and themselves. Not only do they learn how different objects feel beneath their fingers, they also develop fine motor skills by manipulating those fingers to pull a flap or trace a shape. All this active discovery through touch also aids in concentration.

But these interactive inlays aren’t just gimmicks meant to keep your kid occupied. Similar to other kinds of sensory activation, touch helps babies get a handle on concepts like shapes, words, and numbers. They’ll get the chance to feel a circle rising from the page or to trace the number five, turning seemingly random configurations into tangible things they can wrap their hands and minds around.

Tapping the full potential of touch books

Although touch books’ eye-catching textures typically make tiny hands fly into action, your baby may need some guidance at first. Invite them to follow your lead as you feel a distinct surface or operate a slider. Allow them time to engage with the material themselves to gain familiarity. You can even try to teach new words like “rough” or “smooth” while your baby is experiencing that sensation on the page.

While your baby may love a certain touch book so much they’ll want to read it over and over, having a variety to choose from means additional opportunities to explore and learn new things. With so many different ways to experience touch (buttons to push, panels to scratch and sniff), you can’t expect a single book to cover all of them. 

You can also take a more targeted approach by finding books that focus on particular subjects (e.g., shapes and colors) that you think your baby would especially benefit from. Literati can help! When you sign up for a Kids Book Club, we’ll hunt down great touch books that fit your child’s unique needs and send you monthly boxes to keep their hands full.

Best touch books to keep babies engaged

This handful of books offers an array of touch-and-feel experiences that make learning fun:

Book Cover 5 Wild Numbers

5 Wild Numbers

by Bella Gomez

In this hands-on introduction to numbers one through five, babies use sliders to trace the path of each numeral while colorful wild animals look on.

Book Cover Wheres My Llama

Where’s My Llama?

by Becky Davies & Kate McLelland

Readers touch and feel their way through the pages as they track down a runaway llama, who also sports some white fluffy fur to pet.

Book Cover Rainbow on the Farm

Rainbow on the Farm

from Little Hippo Books

Little fingers can interact with the colors of the rainbow as they appear through cutouts and then blend into a series of farm locations.

Book Cover Babys Very First Sparkly Playbook

Baby’s Very First Sparkly Playbook

by Fiona Watt and Stella Baggott

Each page showcases shiny, sparkly shapes. Die-cut holes lead readers from one dazzling display to the next.

Tracing a path forward

Of all the things babies want to get their hands on, touch books are some of the most effective teaching tools. They engage the brain and finger muscles while introducing many textures found in everyday life. An unattended iPad or phone screen may seem sleek and flashy to the eye, but the fingers only feel a flat sameness. The surfaces within touch books, however, pack a richness that leads to deeper understanding. It’s experiential learning within the safe confines of home!

Grab new reads with Literati’s Kids Book Clubs

Your little one is still getting a grasp on the basics, but maybe they’ve already shown a fondness for animals or plants in the garden. Maybe they’ll gladly absorb anything new they can get their hands on. Joining one of our Kids Book Clubs will put your child’s interests in front of expert curators who send relevant titles right to your home. Open the box, open a book, and start exploring!

Authored by Team Literati
November 28, 2022


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