Blaine recently turned one. We have marveled at the many changes in him in the last few weeks. After testing out his feet for a while, walking is suddenly his main form of transportation. Food he spit out just a week ago he is now devouring. He loves to play with other children and has learned to touch them gently instead of gouging their eyes out. And, whereas for the last several months he has squirmed away when I attempted reading to him, he is finally starting to sit with books for an extended period of time (like five minutes!) and explore them. He has even started choosing a book from the shelf and bringing it to me. Once we get to the third page he’s usually done, but still! Right now, Blaine’s favorite books are cloth books, so I thought I’d suggest them to you for your babes and toddlers.
1) Fuzzy Bee and Friends
This is a Priddy book. You’ve probably seen a lot of their stuff before–they have a lot of great products. You can look at their website here. I picked this one up at a yard sale a few weeks ago–in mint condish–and it’s a winner. Here’s why I love it: It is soft and therefore squishes nicely into my diaper bag, even when it’s full of tons of other junk. It’s colorful. And it’s a touch and feel sort of book, in that the insects’ wings stick out so your child can pull on them (but since they’re made of cloth, they don’t tear). Most importantly, Blaine likes it.
2) Let’s Get Dressed
This is a Lamaze Book. True–it’s not just a breathing technique that I used until I freaked out and demanded that someone call the anesthesiologist. Lamaze makes a lot of great books and toys. Their website is here. Blaine’s Nana sent him this particular book, and we LOVE it. Here’s why. Again, it’s soft, durable, and colorful. Even better–it’s an activity book. Blaine gets to help Bear zip up his jacket, put on his shoes, and place his hat on his head. Blaine is having fun learning to do these things, and I love that it’s helping him develop his fine motor skills (I mean, you should see this kid’s pincer grasp!). The bonus is that all of these miniature clothing items are attached to the book with chords, so Blaine can’t lose them. Fabulous book.
3) My Busy Book
You can learn about this company and where to find the book by clicking here. This was another gift to Blaine (Thanks, Candy and Brian!), and it’s AWESOME. Here’s why: It’s full of fun, fine-motor-skill-developing, detailed, colorful pages. Your child can learn to button, zip, lace and tie, weave, and more. It’s a ball! For liability’s sake (you know, so no one sues Mrs. Cropper), let me issue a small warning. This book is not recommended for children under 3 years because it comes with a LOT of small, your-baby-could-choke-on/they-could-get-lost-pieces. I think if you were right there helping your child, he could do the activities in the book at a younger age than that. Blaine can’t quite figure it out right now, but I think in a few months he’ll be loving it.
So those are some recommendations from Mrs. Cropper and Blaine. Even as infants and toddlers, it is so crucial to have books around. Even if all Blaine does is rub the soft books on his cheeks and open the flaps on his board books, he is getting exposure to books–they are becoming a part of his life. I think these soft activity books are particularly helpful because in addition to introducting young children to concepts of print, they are helping them develop motor skills. I hope you and your babes will enjoy these!