at 9-12 months

Interactive Books

There are many different kinds of books for babies: board books, touch and feel books, cloth books, bath books, pop-up books, accordion books … the list goes on and on! These books have one thing in common – they encourage you and your baby to PLAY!

Right now, your baby is learning faster than they ever will again, and they are learning by playing. Play helps your baby build hand-eye coordination and muscle control. Play is how your baby discovers the sights, sounds and smells around them, and playing with your baby shows them how much you love them and want to be with them. Play is important work for your baby right now, but they can’t do it alone. They need you to guide them as they explore their world and learn new skills.

Interactive books are the perfect way to get the fun started. Babies love to hold and chew board books, run their hands across the textures in a touch and feel book, splash in the tub with a squeaky rubber duck bath book, and they’ll squeal with delight at a lift-the-flap surprise.


Peek-a-boo has been a favourite baby game for generations. Not only is it fun for you and your baby, playing peek-a-boo teaches your baby important new skills – it encourages bonding and attachment between you and your baby, it helps develop your baby’s motor skills and it helps them to learn about object permanence (that even when they can’t see an object, it is still there). Watch your baby’s excitement as they anticipate seeing your face or finding a hidden toy.

How to Play Peek-a-Boo with a Young Baby:

no 1 Peek a boo


  • Hold your hands or a cloth in front of your face. Ask your baby “Where’s Mommy?” in a fun and playful voice.

  • As you open your hands or pull the cloth away, say, “Peek-a-Boo! Here I am!” in a happy voice.



  • You can also use a teddy bear or a toy to play peek-a-boo by covering the toy and asking, “Where is Teddy?” Pull the cloth off the bear and say, “Here she is!”.

  • Slowly, your baby will learn that even though they can’t see the toy, it is still there, behind the cloth and they may begin to look for it themselves.

Lift the Flap Books

Another fun way to play peek-a-boo is by reading lift-the-flap books. These books feature flaps that can be lifted to reveal pictures or words hidden underneath. Your baby will love the element of surprise and will be very curious about what is behind the flap. Toddlers love to learn the words for all the images they find hiding behind the flaps. Lift-the-flap books can provide a great opportunity to talk to your baby about the story: “What do you think is behind the ball? … A puppy dog? … (open the flaps) … Yes! It IS a puppy dog! … what does a puppy dog say? Yes, woof, woof!”

When you are reading a lift-the-flap book to a very young baby, you will have to lift the flaps for them, but later on, around 10 months, your baby will love to reach out and lift the flaps themselves, to reveal the hidden surprise. Lift the flap books are a great way to encourage hand/eye coordination and fine motor control. Lift the flap books also teach children the concept of object permanence by showing babies that objects that are covered are still there, even when they can’t see them.

When looking for lift-the-flap books for your child, look for durable board books with sturdy flaps that will stand up to lots of peeking and tugging. Sometimes, even the most durable flaps may get pulled off, but don’t throw them away. You can usually fix them by applying clear tape to the top and underside of the flaps, giving your child continued enjoyment of the book for years to come.

Touch and Feel Books

Touch and feel books feature textured pages for baby to feel. These books will engage and stimulate your baby’s senses. They also teach your baby the connection between the sensation of what they are feeling and the words they are hearing. For example, if a page shows an image of a rough road featuring a sandpaper texture, you can help your baby gently run their fingers over the sandpaper and describe the texture they are feeling: “Oh, this road is very rough! Let’s turn the page and see what is next … Look! There’s an icy pond! Lets touch it … it feels very smo-o-o-oth, doesn’t it?


touch and feel 2


When looking for great touch and feel books, look for ones that feature textures that will be more obvious and appealing to babies. Babies will love books that feature soft fuzzy fur, crinkly fabrics, and raised bumpy textures. The more you play with your baby, the more they will learn. Try to take time each day to stop and play with your baby. It’s a wonderful investment in their future.

For a great list of interactive books, visit us at



Return to How to Read to Your Baby

Contact Information

Phone: (902) 470-6487 or (902) 470-7763
IWK Health Centre 
5850/5980 University Avenue 
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8
Fax: (902) 470-8785


I'd like to express my appreciation for the Hey Diddle Diddle CD. My son, William, was born mid-July. Every evening, I rock him and sing along with the CD. He instantly relaxes and usually falls asleep. I've even started to take it for car rides. He once stopped crying and fell asleep by the time I backed out of the driveway! My favourite track is You Are My Sunshine. I find Monsters Love Banana Bread terribly catchy, even though I am not a fan of country music.

Katherine and Baby William

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