Inside: My list of the best books for 2 year olds – your child will ask to read these books over and over again!
I’m delighted to share with you my all time favorite books for 2 year olds. The books I have selected as my favorites have gone through all my three kids and with each of them asking to read these books over and over again. These books have been on repeat for many nights, and I can memorize most of the stories word for word.
As exhausting as it may be for us to read the same story again and again to our little one, there are plenty of worthwhile advantages to doing so, including developing their literacy skills, creating meaningful bonds, and building confidence.
Related: To learn more about why repetition is good for kids, check out this article.
Choosing Books for 2 Year Olds
So, what should you look for when choosing books for very young children, specifically ages one to three years old?
1) Rhythm and repetition
The most important thing is the rhythm of the story. You want to read something that flows and has a bouncy, almost lyrical sound to it. This keeps young kids captivated, like they often are with music. Books with repeated phrases or sentences are wonderful for young readers too. The repetition creates familiarity and adds rhythm and pattern to the stories.
Children are more drawn to simple storylines that are related to events in their life. Look for stories with uncomplicated plots and relatable characters that children are able to connect with easily. For example if you have a pet cat at home, your child will find more interest in a book about a cat as compared to a story about an animal he or she has never seen before.
Choose picture books with simple, engaging illustrations that are easily understood. Illustrations are not purely decorative in storybooks. Story illustrations help capture children’s attention, improve their comprehension, recall and retention of the stories. The pictures also connect meaning to the words which helps them to learn the new words and build up their vocabulary.
4) Less is More
Avoid books that are excessively wordy or that try too hard to “teach a lesson”. Let the characters’ experiences, relationships, and adventures speak for themselves without abstract morality complicating matters. Young children are extremely concrete thinkers, so this kind of writing will fly way over their heads.
Our List of Best Books for 2 Year Olds
1) The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This book has bright and colorful illustrations and plenty of rhythmic repetition to keep young ones captivated.
2) Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?
Another Eric Carle classic makes this list! This one is perfect for little ones that love making animal sounds.
3) Dear Zoo
This book is almost like a puzzle and a book in one with its lift the flap feature that allows little ones to guess what’s behind each crate door. Young kids will love the interactive nature of this simple story.
4) Where is the Green Sheep?
The way the author weaves the green sheep throughout this story keeps readers on their toes, and provides them with a funny and satisfying ending. The drawings are simple and sweet.
5) How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?
There are lots of dinosaur books in this series and kids will love laughing at the ridiculous antics of the dinosaurs in this story. They are relatable, predictable, and hilarious.
6) Goodnight Moon
This book is a classic and is loved by generations of families for good reasons. The simple pictures and rhymes are just right to get children’s attention.
7) The Napping House
This book provides a repetitive, fun, and fast paced read. The illustrations are enchanting and will keep everyone laughing!
8) Not A Box
This book is uncomplicated in its delivery, and allows the young child to fill in the blanks with his or her imagination in an enchanting way. Its companion book, Not A Stick, is just as satisfying.
9) This Is Not My Hat
Another deceptively simple book with a lot of room for interpretation, this book lets the reader hypothesize about what happens to the characters throughout.
10) Press Here
This book allows the children to interact with each page by touching, poking, rubbing, and shaking the pages. Young readers will delight in the magic of the story of simple coloured dots not only having an adventure, but in getting to be a part of it!
11) Little Blue Truck
A book that celebrates friendship and kindness and keeps children engaged with the fun animal and truck sounds. Beep beep!
12) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
A fun circular story that starts with a mouse asking for a cookie which leads to another thing and another. Will mouse ever have enough?
What are your 2 Year Old’s Favourite Books?
Now it’s your turn….what’s on your list? Please share with me your 2 year old’s favorite books. I’d love to add to this list with your suggestions!
Looking for simple fun activities for your 2 year olds? Check out this list of super easy dot sticker activities! This Shape Matching Pizza is a fun one to do with your two year old too!
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