Parenting Toddlers

35 Must-Have Board Books for Your Toddler

Awesome, sturdy board books are a must for my toddlers! Reading to your child is an excellent way to encourage learning and language development. Fostering a love for reading can begin at a very young age. There are great benefits to reading to infants, and as children grow they become more involved and excited about reading with you.

There are so many different, colorful and exciting books on the market for young kids so I’ve rounded up some of my own (and my children’s) personal favorites and divided them into categories. These are my top books for the toddler age group of one to three years old.

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Lift-the Flap Books

Pop-Up: Peekaboo! Farm

Each large and colorful page of these books has one big flap with a pop-up scene underneath. They are super fun and there are so many different books to choose from including colors, animals and a new unicorn version!

Where is Baby’s Beach Ball?

Another great book from Karen Katz with her bold illustrations and interactive flaps. This is a fun one about baby’s beach adventure that’s perfect for summer time!


A favorite of my daughter’s, she loves the bright pictures and numerous flaps to explore and discover. Now that she’s closer to two she also enjoys pointing out the different animals and objects throughout the detailed pages.

Dear Zoo

A fun introduction to basic zoo animals with a simple theme. A great way to introduce animals sounds that aren’t from farm animals. The ending is so cute too!

What’s in My Truck?

This book is five full-page spreads with over 30 flaps. Both of my children still love to look through this book on their own time. It’s sure to keep your little one entertained!

Potty Time Books

Ducks Goes Potty

A simple, short and silly introduction to potty training that’s sure to make your kiddos giggle.

Once Upon a Potty (Boy and Girl)

A necessity in my household. I really think this book helps children to understand the potty training process. Plus, you can specify for both boys and girls!

Potty Superhero: Get Ready for Big Boy Pants!

A fun one for boys – the front page features a little boy wearing a soft, fabric pair of undies. Just cracks me up! There’s also a girl version called Potty Fairy Princess.


Another popular book by Leslie Patricelli featuring everyone’s favorite baby as he tries out this thing called “using the potty!”

Super Silly Books

Dinosaur Zoom!

A favorite of my son’s – it combines both dinosaurs and vehicles such as cars, trucks and motorcycles! Plus there’s a sweet surprise at the end!

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Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure

This book is so fun! It’s definitely on the top of my list. I love the rhyming and all the giggly silliness that surrounds these bathing piggies!

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

A classic that you can sing along to. We do regular bear hunts at my house now and everyone can participate. My son’s favorite part is running away from the bear of course!

Hey! Wake up!

I’ve always liked this Sandra Boynton book. There are many to choose from but this one is great as it talks about a morning routine, which I feel is a rare subject in kid’s books.

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree

We always sing along to this story as well. It’s a fun one because you get to yell “SNAP” when Mr. Crocodile comes along. It also teaches them that teasing others is not an okay way to play.

Silly Sally

How did Sally get to town? Walking backwards, upside down! This book is written in a fun repetitive verse that’s sure to have your kiddo giggling.

Books to Learn From

First 100 Words Books

This book is basically all pictures. It’s great for individual reading as well as reading together. It’s also an awesome way to work on language skills by pointing out and naming the different items and activities.

May I Please Have a Cookie?

Alfie the alligator needs to learn how to use his manners if he ever wants a cookie from Mommy. I cute, colorful book about asking for things nicely.

How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends?

I love all the “How Do Dinosaurs” books. This particular story discusses the concepts of sharing and putting others first. A pretty tricky thing for kids in the toddler age group so any reinforcement is great.

Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Repetition is great for memory and language development. This book is often used in early learning centers and speech therapy programs.

Freight Train

This is a very simple book but it’s really good for introduction to colors. Also great for train lovers!

Interactive Books

Pat the Zoo

This touch-and-feel book features the bunny from “Pat the Bunny” and follows along as he visits the zoo and meets the many different animals who live there.

Three Little Mermaids

A super sweet tea party under the sea. There are flaps to lift, levers to pull and textures to touch and feel. This is a favorite of my daughter’s for sure!

Ten Little Ladybugs

Great for counting, this book follows the adventures of a group of ladybugs, which are little plastic, raised figures attached to each page.

Beach Bugs: A Sunny Pop-Up Book

You’ll have to supervise your toddler with this awesome interactive book about the bugs’ day at the beach. It features a big variety of flaps to lift and levers to move but its a little more delicate than others.

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In My Den

There is a whole series of these adorable finger puppet books. This one with the bear is my favorite. Toddlers are at an age when they can begin to manipulate the puppet themselves. It’s a great way to encourage an interest in reading on their own.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

This is a fun spin on an old classic. The song is the same but each colorful page has a slider for little hands to maneuver.

Elmo’s Play Day

This interactive book comes with the cutest little Elmo plush! Young children are encouraged to press the sound effects buttons on the side of the page as they read along with their favorite Sesame Street friend.

Books for Bedtime

Where do Diggers Sleep at Night?

I just think this is the cutest book. I want to save it for my grandkids someday. Both boys and girls will love reading about the different types of vehicles and their bedtime routines.

Bears in the Bath

A fun rhyming story about a papa bear and his four silly cubs at bath time. This book has some really sweet illustrations in a nice, calming color palette.

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo

This one tells a story of a group of toys and a choo-choo train’s route right into sleepy time. My daughter loves to point out the sleeping boy at the end and my son always liked the page with the tunnel.

You’re My Little Bunny

A calming story of a mother bunny and her baby and their adventures during the day. It ends with a cozy cuddle that’s sure to have them yawning for sleep.


The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear

A book that has been a favorite in my family for many years. This irresistible story of a mouse trying to hide his strawberry from the bear is a must-have for me.


Corduroy is book about a curious bear who just wants to find a friend and a home outside of the department store. It’s an oldie but goodie for sure.

Goodnight Moon

Everyone needs this one in their household! It’s a sure bet that this little bunny will put them right to sleep.

Dr. Seuss’s ABC

Make learning the alphabet extra fun with Dr. Suess’s silly made-up words. From Annie’s Alligator to a Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, it’s sure to make them giggle!

I could go on forever adding more books and never run out of ideas. I love reading and I hope someday to turn my little buddies into readers too! Do your children love to read? What are your family favorites?

Enjoy this post? Please be sure to check out my previous post on our most-loved books for babies!

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