Did you know that a baby’s first experience to the surrounding environment occurs through touch?
If you’re a parent with a baby, you will know what it’s like to be constantly pulling things out their mouth, whether that’s their fingers, their entire hand or things they pick up because you’ve left them at arm’s length!
As annoying as it might be, (especially for us mums who are a little OCD!), this is one of the ways babies learn, by feeling with their hands and yes, with their mouths too!
So it’s only logical that babies will also love touchy-feely books. But what are they?
Touchy-feely books tend to be brightly coloured, include high-contrast pictures that have patches of different textures for your child to feel and explore. Some of these textures are soft and smooth, others may be bumpy and fuzzy.
We all know when our little bundle of joy is born; we are encouraged to make skin-to-skin contact as this may help shape how their little brain responds to touch, a sense that is necessary for social and emotional connections.
Our sense of touch is often ignored when we talk about senses; however the sensation of touch is essential to our daily lives. Our sense of touch is used to gather information about our surroundings and as a means to develop bonds between each other.
However, when we think of touch, we usually don’t dwell on the importance of this sense.
‘Touch’ is the link between our bodies and the outside world. When our babies use touchy-feely books, they are gathering multiple informative cues about objects around them. Is it soft or hard? Wet or dry? Cold or hot? Stable or unstable?
Children and babies that are more exposed to touchy-feely activities, tactile learning, tummy time, and developing their motor skills, have better learning development which correlates with their future academic success.
Take a look at these books and find out why they may be good to use with your babies.
“That’s Not My…” series:
These books have been very popular with little ones for a long time and parents love them too! There is a title to suit every child whether they are into pirates, fairies or even frogs!
Not only are the pictures bold and colourful, there are a plethora of textures ranging from soft to silky and bumpy to glittery designed to develop sensory and language awareness.
Each book is written using a similar pattern, “That’s not my pirate. His hat is too soft”.
That’s not my Pirate
Your child can then feel the soft texture of the pirate’s hat. “That’s not my pirate. Her shirt is too silky”… This pattern continues until your child has found their pirate but along the way, they will have learnt how to describe different textures which in turn, they can use with objects around them. Get your child to find something soft or silky in the house.
The pattern in which the books are written allows your child to join in even if they are unable to read, they can guess what comes next. If you don’t already have a couple of these books, you should get some.
They are an absolute must on every child’s bookshelf!
If your child loves animals, then this is the book for them. Not only does is host an array of different animals, but you can ‘pet’ them too and feel the different textures of each pet and their accessories.
We all know how kids like to take everything with them everywhere they go. If that’s the case then this book might be the one for you as it has a handle to make it easy for your child to take with them anywhere they are going, and they could have a read along the way.
Each animal in the book introduces themselves, they tell you what they like doing and the different sounds they make.
Makes lovely reading for us parents as your child will definitely be entertained hearing you make silly noises!
There’s lots of fun to have with this book and you and your child will love reading it over and over.
B is for Bear – Touch and Feel
If you’re looking for an alphabet book with a difference, this might be the one. It is ideal for babies and toddlers. Not only does it have the loveliest pictures in it, the textures and materials used in this book are amazing.
This book is also written in rhyme, not only does it help to learn the alphabet but makes a good read at any time of the day.
“A is for apple that I like to bite. B is for bear who I cuddle at night.”
A very sturdy book that will definitely stand the test of time and a battering from the kids!
Dan the Dog – Touch and Feel Book
This is a lovely story about a group of dogs who are the best of friends living in a dog home. One day a horrible bully dog comes along but the friends team up and stand up to the bully. Find out how they do it! A wonderful story about friendship and teamwork.
Not only is this book written in rhyme but it also has the added dimension of touch and feel. The bright and colourful illustrations are inlaid with textured surfaces that bring this story to life!
Sue the Cat – Touch and Feel Book
Another lovely rhyming story book with bright illustrations and inlaid textures for your child to explore.
The story is about a little cat who doesn’t realise that she is much bigger than a little dragonfly. When playing together, she gets a little too rough. A great lesson to be learnt here!
Rollo the Rabbit – Touch and Feel Book
Rollo the Rabbit loves playing pranks on everyone until one day, it backfires on him. He soon realises that pranks aren’t always funny. Your child will be able to use this story to learn right from wrong and about other people’s feelings.
While enjoying the rhyming story, they can feel the lovely textures of Rollo’s fur, the shiny moon, the bark of the tree and much more.
A lovely board book for the family to enjoy.
This is just a small selection of our touch and feel books
I am the mother of two little girls and I am also a SEN teacher. I enjoy experiencing the learning process with my girls which doesn't always happen in a formal way.
I firmly believe that learning could take place at anytime & anywhere and most importantly, it should be fun!!