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53 Best Toddler Books to Engage (And Educate) Your 2 Year Old

By Kelsey

These are the award-winning toddler books that will fuel your 2 year olds imagination and development. From interactive storylines and physical elements, to beautiful illustrations and sounds, these are the toddler books you’ll cherish for a lifetime. From the top 10 of all-time to the best board books, this is the ultimate list of the best children’s books that your toddler will love and be engaged with during every story time.

The best toddler books of all-time in every category.

Top 10

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic tale about a caterpillar’s life cycle from an egg to a beautiful butterfly. This award-winning book contains beautiful illustrations and will help teach kids how to count.


Goodnight Moon

This book is a must-have for bedtime as it tells about a rabbit’s rituals before going to bed. It’s a great book to help your kids wind down and drift off to sleep.


Peek-A Who?

Peek-A-Who is a fun, interactive book that you and your little one will love reading together. It makes use of short, simple rhymes that will keep your kids guessing.


Where's Spot?

Where’s Spot is a timeless tale about a mother dog finding her puppy, Spot. Reading this book and lifting the flaps to find Spot is like playing hide and seek but in story form.


Welcome Little One

There’s nothing more powerful than the love shared between parents and their children. Welcome Little One by Sandra Magsamen has a beautiful, yet simple way of explaining to kids how much their parents love them.


Good Night, Gorilla

Sometimes the best stories aren’t told through words; they’re told through pictures. Good Night Gorilla is a fantastic bedtime story that makes use of beautiful illustrations to get your child to sleep soundly.


Press Here

One book we recommend for this holiday season is Press Here by Herve Tullet because it's interactive, entertaining, and educational–all in one. This book will teach your toddler how to follow directions and is a must-have for children's libraries.


Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

For toddlers who love seeing big trucks, this bedtime story is sure to be their favorite. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site puts you in the world of construction trucks as it soothes readers into deep sleep.


Big Red Barn

Let your toddler’s imagination soar as you read Big Red Barn. It’s a fantastic book that will make your child feel like he or she is really in a farm learning all about animals.


Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late

This book by Mo Willems cleverly makes kids come up with reasons to contradict the attempts of the main character to stay up late. A truly innovative way to teach kids the virtue of sleeping early.


Board Books

Moo Baa La La La

Familiarize your toddler with animals and the unique sounds they make with Moo Baa La La La. This story has easy-to-read words and will help give your toddlers good practice in making letter sounds.


Baby University Board Book Set

The Baby University Book Set introduces advanced scientific concepts in a way that a toddler can read and understand. These books will fascinate your little one with science from a very early age and will pave the way for mroe advanced science lessons later on.


Look, Look!

This book takes full advantage of early childhood sight development. Using striking black and white images in high contrast, children will be captivated by the story and visuals.


Pandas Love Pickles

Teach the alphabet while enticing your child’s appetite with this smartly written book for toddlers. Different kinds of food are suggested and introduced as it goes through the entire alphabet.



Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs

Bryon Barton brings the dinosaur world to life in a manner that will fascinate young children. It also teaches children that once upon a time, the earth was very different.


That's Not My Dinosaur

This book is extremely tactile as every page has a textured part of a dinosaur. Children are encouraged to explore their sense of touch and further develop sensory awareness.


My Big Dinosaur Book

My Big Dinosaur Book is generously sized so that the dinosaur images are imposing to look at from a 2 year old's perspective. The images are realistic depictions of the many dinosaur species that once lived.


Quiet Time

Quiet Loud

Leslie Patricelli’s amusing board book establishes with specific examples the concept of loud and soft sounds. A wonderfully illustrated toddler guides you through the many examples.


Calm-Down Time

Teach your little one how to express his/her feelings with the help of 'Calm-Down Time'. It introduces the concept of a calm-down place, a visual they can go to when having a meltdown or tantrum.


The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book

Children will actually hear a sampled sound of a chirp as they turn the pages of this book. The book is recommended for kids aged 1-3 and comes with 24 pages.



Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bestselling author Karma Wilson drives home the spirit of Christmas in this delightful book that depicts a reluctant bear that would rather sleep. It's a great story that will help get your child into the holiday mood.


Christmas in the Manger

Introduce your child to the event behind Christmas in this well-told story of the Nativity. The book is also handsomely illustrated to help your child imagine the first Christmas.


Merry Christmas, Mouse

Make teaching the concept of counting fun for your child with the Merry Christmas Mouse book by Laura Numeroff & Felicia Bond. The book uses a whimsical mouse to help you introduce numbers.


Books About Feelings

Pug Is Happy

This book will encourage your child to be more expressive, a daunting job for any parent. Pug is Happy is a great book to read to your toddler. The adorable pug is a funny character that kids will naturally gravitate towards.


The Day the Crayons Quit

Drew Daywalt did it again with this hilarious picture book full of color and personality. Can you imagine crayons quitting? By the end of it, your toddler won't be able to look at crayons the same way again.


What to Do When You're Feeling Blue

Manage your child’s emotions with this cleverly written book by Andi Cann. This book will encourage your child to talk about feelings openly and without malice.


Toddler Activity Books

The Outdoor Toddler Activity Book:

Bring your toddlers outdoors with this activity book by Krissy Bonning-Gould. It taps into your child’s senses and encourages them to be creative and imaginative.


The Toddler's Busy Book

Keep your toddler busy and productively occupied with the activities included in this book. With 365 activities (one for each day of the year) using materials that are already found in the home, you'll definitely stay on top of your toddler's developmental milestones.


Toddler Activities Made Easy

Create fun activities using easy-to-source, everyday materials that your toddler will enjoy and learn from. This book has over a hundred activities covering spatial skills, fine motor skills, early literacy and creativity.



Happy Halloween, Curious George

Curious George gets ready for an all out celebration of Halloween. The right costume, the perfect pumpkin, and a well-decorated house preoccupy George as he gets ready for a fun-filled day.


Corduroy's Halloween

Join Corduroy as he prepares for Halloween in this holiday tale that's perfect for young readers. Toddlers get to participate in the storytelling by lifting the flaps.


The Little Ghost Who Didn't Like to Be Scary

Entertain your little one with a picture book that's perfect for Halloween but with a little less spook. Featuring a ghost that didn't like to be scary, this book is a great way to show your kids a lighter side of Halloween.



Baby Touch and Feel: Animals

Captivate your toddler's senses with this touch and feel book that teaches all about animals. Featuring photos of real animals, kids can meet puppies, kittens and more in this adorable picture book.


World of Eric Carle, Animal Babie

Treat your child to a multisensory reading experience with this book about animal babies. Complete with buttons that trigger animal names and sounds when pressed, your toddler will be connecting words with pictures in no time.


Animal Alphabet

Engage in interactive storytelling with the help of board books that are perfect for 2 year olds who are learning their ABC's. Watch their faces light up as they toggle the sliding panels on each page.



First 100 Padded: Numbers Colors Shapes

Introduce a multitude of shapes, numbers and colors to your toddler with the help of thick, durable books that are built for small hands. Featuring 100 easy words to learn as well as 100 photos, your child will be saying his/her first words in no time.


Brown Rabbit's Shapes

Follow Brown Rabbit's adventures as he follows a trail filled with all sorts of 2D and 3D shapes. Featuring colorful, child-sized illustrations, kids will enjoy the visuals that accompany this lighthearted tale.



Stay on top of your toddler's developmental milestones with this board book intended for toddlers learning their first shapes.



Noisy Things That Go

Noisy Things That Go' is a feast for any 2 year old's senses with its tactile textures and vehicle sounds. Featuring land, sea and air vehicles, your toddler will have plenty to explore in this touch and feel book.


Encyclopedia Britannica Kids Animal Sound Treasury Book

Hands-on learning is a crucial tool that parents can utilize to engage with their toddlers on a deeper level. With a library of sounds and facts created specifically for young readers and their favorite animals, this Encyclopedia will be nothing short of enriching.


I Spy

I Spy Everything

Make learning fun with activities and games that combine educational content and entertainment value. 'I Spy Everything' makes learning the ABC's fun and sharpens your toddlers' memory and cognition skills without them even realizing it.


I Spy Animals

I Spy Animals' combines lessons on the alphabet plus fun facts about animals in this thrilling picture book that's full of puzzles for your toddler to solve.


I Spy From A-Z

Sharpen your kids' observational skills with this I Spy book featuring the letters of the alphabet. I Spy is a guessing game that will have your toddler turning the pages with excitement to figure out the correct answer.



Big Book of Bugs

Bugs may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this illustrated book does a good job at making them fun and interesting. Kids will learn all about the different species of bugs that walk the earth, as well as tips on how to spot them in their natural habitats.


Birthday Bugs

Celebrate birthdays the way bugs do in this adorable pop-up book by critically acclaimed author, David A. Carter. It even includes a party hat for your little one to get it on the fun!


The Backyard Bug Book

Help your child identify bugs and maybe even find them while they're out and about during the day. You can even test your child's knowledge using the challenges in the book to ensure that they're hitting their developmental milestones.



Spot Goes to the Farm

Lift-the-flap books are great for holding a toddler's attention during storytelling. In 'Spot Goes to the Farm,' your little one will learn all about baby animals and the sounds they make upon lifting each flap.


Farm Peekaboo

If you don't have access to a farm, picture books are the next best thing. In this charming series, children can touch and feel under the flaps to gain a better understanding of farm animals while developing their memory and sensory skills.


First 100 Padded First Farm Words

This softly padded book was designed specifically for little hands and will teach your toddler all about life on the farm. From everyday farm objects to their favorite farm animals, your child will be saying his/her first farm words in no time.



Super Space (First Facts and Flaps)

Combine learning and playtime with this interactive book full of surprise flaps and a turn-and-learn wheel. Toddlers will discover numerous fun facts about the stars and planets while training their fine motor skills.


The Girl Who Could Dance in Outer Space

This inspirational series highlights how real people have made a difference in the world through chasing their own dreams and goals, just like the main character in this book who became an engineer, dancer, doctor and then finally, an astronaut! This is perfect for young ones who are just starting to read as the book is divided into easily digestible parts.


Baby University ABC's Board Book Set

Take your kids on a wild ride through basic scientific principles and space in general in this board book set for toddlers. The concepts are carefully explained so that kids can follow along this four-part series with ease.


26 Toddler Activities and Crafts Based on Children’s Books

Mixing Colors

Teach your kids all about color with this fine motor skills activity that involves mixing paints to create new colors.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Headband

Engaging in toddler activities that involve cutting, pasting, coloring and measuring are all great for developing fine motor skills. At this age, it's crucial that kids have enough practice in smaller movements. This caterpillar headband should be easy enough for 2 year olds to make.

Put Me In The Zoo Paper Plate Craft

Get the kids involved during storytelling by encouraging them to make their own paper plate animal masks. This crafts activity is meant to be paired with the Dr. Seuss story, 'Put Me In the Zoo' for an added level of imaginative play during story time.

Easy, Giant Diy Scratchboard Art

Experiment on scratchboards to give your toddlers another medium to play around and get creative with. Unlike other mediums, scratchboard art will require different techniques that train their small hand gestures, which is perfect for toddlers in this developmental stage.

Growing Vegetable Soup Cooking Activity

Cooking activities may be a little tricky to do with toddlers, but it's an enriching experience that they can learn a lot from, especially when it comes to their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. While making the vegetable soup, give your toddlers a chance to run through the directions themselves (with supervision) so that they have a proper idea of how to prepare and cook the actual recipe. You can then extend the cooking to pretend play where they can take over the recipe completely.

Pete The Cat Saves Christmas Footprint Craft

Have a little fun with arts and crafts by incorporating your child's handprint and footprint into the artwork. It starts with a footprint that serves as the cat's body while the palmprint serves as the head. Decorate it with kitty features and of course some Christmas decor and Pete the Cat will be complete!

Pancake Paper Plate Craft

Food-inspired creativity, anyone? That's exactly what this pancake paper plate craft is and it never fails to amuse our toddlers. It looks just like real pancakes when you decorate it, making it ideal for pretend play with the little ones.

Paper Plate Clifford Craft

Make your own version of Clifford the big red dog with this collaborative crafts project that you can do with your little ones. The adults can do the cutting but leave the painting to the 2 year olds to give them some fine motor skill practice.

Little Red Hen Collage

Who needs fancy paintings when you could commission a toddler or two to make some beautiful pieces of their own? That's exactly what you'll get with this little red hen collage that toddlers can practice their fine motor skills on using small pom poms, craft sticks, corrugated flowers, and more.

Bubble Wrap Print Dinosaurs

Bubble wrap makes for great texture on art pieces once you dip it in paint, and that's exactly what you'll do to create this awesome dinosaur skin texture.

The Grouchy Ladybug Handprint Craft

Don't be fooled by the title; this activity actually makes for an adorable ladybug picture that will look great hanging up on the wall. It involves some handpainting with your little ones, which is good for their hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Kid Made Star Display

Decorating the house just became a fun, interactive activity between you and the kids. With this kid-made star display, you are teaching them not only to recycle materials but also to express their creativity through art. This stage is excellent for art projects because it combines creatvity with fine motor skill development, a must for toddlers.

Shoo Fly

These little handmade flies made with pipe cleaners and googly eyes are awesome for imaginative play to get everyone involved in story time.

Apple Squeeze Balls Stacking Activity

Do not underestimate the usefulness of these apple squeeze balls. They're the perfect size for toddler hands and make for awesome stress balls that won't easily break. Stack them, squeeze them or throw them onto the floor–they're extremely versatile and we guarantee you'll love them.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Craft

Learning the alphabet alongside your toddler's favorite book is an effective way to get them to participate more. With this crafts activity, you can encourage participation even more by having your toddler point to the correct letter on the tree.

The Very Busy Spider Spider Webs

Spiders might just become your kids' favorite after this activity involving craft spider webs made with paper plates and string. Poke holes in the plate and thread the strings through the holes to make a spider web shape that can catch any fly or bug of their choice.

Chester The Raccoon Paper Plate Craft

Toddlers need lots of practice with small hand movements to better develop their fine motor skills. This can be done through cutting, pinching, pushing, pulling, threading and so much more. Luckily for you, you tick a lot of those boxes with this Chester the Raccoon project. Made from cut-up paper plates, paint and some small art materials, toddlers can create their very own Chester paper plate figures.

Very Hungry Caterpillar with Toilet Rolls

Who knew an empty toilet paper roll could be used for painting? That's exactly what you'll be using to make this Hungry Caterpillar. The round shape of the toilet paper roll serves as the caterpillar body. Since it works like a stamp, toddlers with small hands should have no problem forming a caterpillar with this method.

Where The Wild Things Are Paper Plate Max

Keep your art projects simple but effective with the use of materials like paper plates. Paper plates are an excellent base for face masks or heads, just like what is needed in this activity. Decorate the paper plate head with white tissue paper, tan craft paint, cardstock, and more for a 'Where the Wild Things Are' themed project.

A Color Of His Own Inspired Mosaic Craft

Give your kids plenty of fine motor skill practice with this mosaic style chameleon. There will be plenty of spatial awareness as well as color recognition here too, so it's definitely in line with toddlers' developmental milestones. The cut-up mosaic pieces will be used to fill in the chameleon outline, creating a unique result each time.

Rainbow Fish Counting

Combine reading, hands-on learning and fine motor skill practice with multipurpose activities such as this one involving Rainbow Fish. The fish are made from playdough and are later decorated with sequins and other accessories. Use the Rainbow Fish for everything from counting activities to making simple patterns.

The Cat In The Hat Printable Craft

Get into the Dr. Seuss mood with this DIY The Cat in the Hat project that your child can wear while reading Dr. Seuss books. It can be made with paper cutouts or marker shadings depending on your toddler's hand skill level.

Color Matching Activity For Brown Bear Brown Bear

Reading can become an interactive activity with some tools and a bit of imagination. Take this color matching activity for example using magnets, a metal cookie sheet and a printable color guide.

Ink Blot Cloud Shapes

It doesn't get much easier than this to create art. Simply put some glue in the middle of a sheet of paper and fold it in half so that the glue is smashed in between the pages. Once it is opened, it should form what looks like cloud formations. Toddlers will enjoy this activity because it's so easy to make but they end up with a different result each and every time.

Paper Plate Corduroy Craft

Make your own Corduroy bear to match the adorable and heartwarming story by Don Freeman. Using paper plates, some paint and a bit of imagination, your toddler can have his/her very own Corduroy too

Pigeon Paper Plate Craft

Create a pigeon figure that rocks on its own with just a few simple art materials. The rocking motion can be achieved using a whole paper plate folded in half, while the painting can be decided by your little one. Letting your toddlers choose their own colors and styles is an excellent way to get them to communicate while also helping them express their creativity.

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