If you’ve always thought of reading as a sedentary activity, then you haven’t yet discovered these interactive books for kids. 

These interactive books invite little ones to wiggle, shout, and shake…which makes them perfect for curious, fidgety toddlers and preschoolers, who sometimes need an outlet for their energy as much as they need a subdued story. Best of all, with all the fun your tots have reading these interactive books, they won’t miss swiping and tapping through your phone or iPad. 

So liven up your next storytime with these 11 picks (and let us know your own faves in the comments!) Psst! If you’re looking for ways to support local bookstores, try shopping for these picks from Booksellers.org.au.

From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle

This interactive book from beloved children’s book author Eric Carle gets kids up and moving like their favorite animals. They’ll wriggle like crocodiles, thump their chests like gorillas, clap their hands like seals…and generally shake their sillies out.  

High Five, by Adam Rubin, Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Kids sharpen their high-five skills with hand-limbering stretches and a variety of interactive challenges—all to get them ready for the big high-five contest at the end of the book! 

Press Here, by Hervé Tullet

Press the yellow dot…and then watch fun unfold! Kids press, shake, tilt, and clap their way through this book that feels a little bit like a game. Tullet’s follow-up to Press Here is also worth a read (or 10,000!)…

Mix It Up, by Hervé Tullet

Imagine letting your toddler experiment with color-mixing…with zero mess. In that way, Mix It Up is a gift to parents. Kids get to swirl and smudge pretend paints as they learn about color…and there’s no clean-up required!

You Are a Lion!, by Taeeun Yoo

Downward dog, anyone? This yoga-for-beginners book invites readers to move and stretch like critters great and small. 

The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak

This book isn’t so interactive in what it asks its little readers to do, but it calls for a major performance from Mom or Dad—making it one of the most fun, engaging books around (yes, even without any pictures!). 

Tap the Magic Tree, by Christine Matheson

Help one little tree change with the seasons by tapping, jiggling, patting, clapping and more! Then, check out the follow-up—an equally interactive book—Touch the Brightest Star.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems

Great news for tots who love saying NO! This call-and-response book begs your little contrarian to pipe up with their favorite word…over and over again! Don’t miss Willems’ other books in the series either—The Pigeon Needs a Bath and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! might be especially great picks for the bath- and bedtime-resistant kiddos. 

Don’t Push the Button, by Bill Cotter

In this interactive book, there’s just one rule: Don’t push the button! But as parents know, there’s nothing quite as enticing for a toddler than something that’s been forbidden. Once kids see what happens after they push the button (spoiler alert: chaos ensues), they’ll have to take action to make it right. 

TouchThinkLearn: Wiggles, by Claire Zucchelli-Romer

Tots zig and zag their little fingers through wiggly paths and die-cut dots as they learn new words—and their meanings with this interactive book for kids.

There’s a Monster in Your Book, By Tom Fletcher, Illustrated by Greg Abbott

Oh no! There’s a monster in this book—and to get him out, little ones have to follow directions, like “spin the book” and “make a loud noise!”

And for parents who are looking for a book recommendation—one that will help reduce tantrums and communicate better with their toddler—check out The Happiest Toddler on the Block

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