It as a truth universally known — as a former childcare provider, aunt and mom — that little kids LOVE lift-the-flap books. (Also probably a truth universally known that they will in fact probably tear some flaps off at some point but we won’t dwell on that one).
Truly, some of the most engaging books we’ve had on our shelves through the years — and the ones I feel like I always end up gifting to other people– are lift the flap books.
Babies and toddlers LOVE lift-the-flap books and Riley, once she got into sitting and looking at her books, would independently spend so much time with the lift-the-flap books out of everything else we owned.
Honestly, as a parent, I loved them too — an easy way to make our reading experience even more interactive and hold her attention easily as she’d anticipated what would be under the flap. Especially as she started talking they became more fun and, as a parent, I started noticing just how great they were for her vocabulary development and understanding concepts like “under” or “behind.”
And on a very basic level — the lift-the-flap books are just plain fun to read together! So today I wanted to share some of our favorite and the best lift-the-flap books for kids — especially babies and toddlers!
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Best Lift The Flap Book To Read
I’ve broken it down specifically into babies & toddlers because I know sometimes it’s hard to find specific ones for the smallest of little readers and I have a few that I think are perfect for babies especially — even though most will still be great for when they are 1 years old and beyond.
A Little Tip…
Best Lift The Flap Books For Babies & Younger Toddlers
These are the ones I’d have in your library in the earlier days. Most of these are sturdier lift-the-flap books and simple yet compelling for even the youngest of readers.
P.S. Check out these great books for babies under 1!
Babies Love series
There are a TON of these little books (this is just a set of 4 of them) and if you are looking for something super sturdy and tough for a baby — these are it! They are a smaller, great size to fit in the smallest of hands and the flaps are a sturdy cardboard.
I got one of these at my baby shower and ended up buying more because they were such great lift-the-flap books for a baby and young toddler!
By far the sturdiest ones we own — not at all flimsy! These are my picks for the youngest of babies because they are so much easier for them to hold and the chunkier flaps make for easier manipulation for them independently.
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Baby’s First Farm
They specifically advertised these as having sturdy flaps and I will give them props because they actually are! Cute little book with farm animals and where they live on the farm! I love everything about this one — especially all the animals together at the end!
Where’s The Ladybug
This series of books is a DELIGHT! They are lift the flaps but with felt which I thought was perfect for Riley’s little hands as a baby — loved the tactile difference with the soft felt. Plus there is a mirror at the end which was like baby crack for Riley haha.
This one has ladybug (and other bugs) hiding behind the flaps. There’s others in the series — polar bear (had some great animals you don’t normally see), dog, giraffe, unicorn, etc. Definitely worth checking out.
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Lift the Flap – First 100 Words
Originally we had the non-flap version of this book but once I found out the flap version of it existed I had to go out and get this one — plus the first 100 animals lift-the-flap. She LOVED the realistic photographs so much and the flaps add an even more engaging element to this book.
All Things Karen Katz
Karen Katz is the queen of the lift the flaps and that’s just the facts — we had at least 10 of these books in our library but I just picked her latest one for the sake of this post because I just bought it for a baby shower!
Riley really loved these books from when she was a baby to about 18 months (and even then still sometimes she’d pick them after). There is just something about them that is just so simple yet engaging and they are just so darn adorable. They are sturdy-ish flaps though we lost a few flaps when she was quite young because they aren’t THAT kind of sturdy. Still a must for any baby & toddler’s library — plus some cute seasonal ones!
Who Said Woof?
A really interactive book with flaps AND touch-and-feel element (and a surprise mirror!). Part of a series, this one features more domestic pets and is a simple concept. It asks “who says woof? Is it rabbit?” and then you lift the flap and it reveals the right and animal and says “no it was puppy!” Really cute series!
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Peekaboo I Love You!
I love love love Sandra Magsamen’s books so much. So lovely and I love the rhythm of this one. There’s a little mirror at the end (though be careful because some editions don’t have it!) in addition to the flaps.
If I’m being honest here, this one has more flimsy flaps than I’d like so this was mostly just a lap read until she got older and not one that I kept out all the time. I also love Good night, My Love as well!
Baby Faces Peekaboo
Riley LOVED this series of books but this one in particular because it had all the faces of babies. If you’ve read some of my other lists you know that anything that had real pictures of kids or babies was always Riley’s favorite. This lift the flap book for babies is very interactive with not only flaps but touch & feel elements and mirror!
What Is Baby Going To Do?
This is such a good book for older babies to probably up to age 2 years old. It features six different babies who are all dressed differently and, based on what they are wearing, it asks little ones to guess what baby is going to do (ie. baby is wearing rainboots and raincoat — they are going to go jump in puddles, etc).
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Best Lift-The-Flap Books For Toddlers
Everyone Is Yawning
This book is a fun bedtime story (or anytime story — I definitely acted more silly doing the yawns when it wasn’t bedtime haha). It introduces some sleepy animals (and a child at the end) and then you lift the flap to see them yawn.
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One of the top picks for lift-the-flap books and for good reason it’s become a classic best-selling children’s book! It’s fun, silly and engaging as we watch a child write to a zoo for a pet and then is sent the most ridiculous animals not suited to be a pet! This one was asked for over and over again. A must for any little one’s library! I never did check out any of the subsequent books in this series so I can’t comment on if they are as engaging as this one!
Freight Train (Lift the flap version)
Honestly I’m so sad this lift-the-flap version of this book came out when Riley was a bit older. Totally elevates this classic book and I think Riley would have enjoyed it more around the time we were into this book.
It’s a train-based concept book about colors but this version adds more to it — reveals what is in some of the trains and gives even more to the landscapes that the train goes by.
I got it for a birthday present for a 1 year old (which is how I even saw that it existed when I was perusing!) and I think it will get lots of love.
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I Say, You Say: Feelings
This is another fun series of concept time books that are fun. We loved this one about feelings/emotions. It starts with a phrase that repeats but with different feelings — ie. when I say happy, you say: smile (and that’s what the flap opens up to). The illustrations are super engaging and cute!
Another popular lift-the-flap book that is widely adored and Riley (and I) were no exception in our love for this one. Bright, great rhyming/flow and it was a great size for her little hands. She had so much fun guessing what would be hiding beneath the flaps based on the clues on the page. Peek-a-moo and peek-a-zoo are cute too!
I *LOVE* this lift-the-flap series for toddlers — probably amongst my favorites for 2 year olds to 3 year olds!! This one, featuring large fold-out flaps, is a bedtime based one about a little boy who is NOT ready for bed yet and each page/flap will tell you one reason why he’s not — all sorts of things in his bedtime routine that he needs to do with his stuffed animals. Great for the bedtime routine!
The other books in the series are also worth checking out for toddlers & younger preschoolers. Some books in this series, in my opinion, lend themselves better at the toddler age and some for younger preschool range. We got a lot of use out of this for a couple years because of that!
This set of non-fiction lift the flap books is a delight for older toddlers and preschoolers! Super engaging with the perfect amount of text/facts for curious little learners!
Riley went on a dinosaur kick for a little bit and enjoyed this one but if you dinosaurs aren’t your thing you can learn all about animals in the sea (Hello, Whale), forest critters (Hello, Bear), jungle animals (Hello, Tiger) and animals living on the savanna (Hello Elephant).
Up & Down
An opposites (and directional words) concept book about a little penguin who misses his friend and decides to embark on a journey to go see him — a journey full of ups and downs.
The flaps are innovative in the way they are used and aren’t the same on each page, however, they are less sturdy than others so if you care about the flaps staying in tact for long I would wait until they are a bit more careful with their books.
Definitely a great older toddler/early preschool pick or a good one if you are looking for a lift-the-flap book that has a bit of a story to it.
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Pet the Pets
Quite possibly one of the most interactive lift the flap books for toddlers on this list! It’s super engaging and interactive but it also shows how to be a good pet owner as the book takes you through different needs of the pet — like scratching the dog’s ear or feeding the goldfish. There’s also another one set on the farm.
Do Cows Meow?
Riley loved this book starting around 18 months old! A cute book, in rhyming verses, about farm animals and their sounds! Super interactive and fun — lots of fun times making loud animal sounds haha. It’s part of a series so there’s plenty of other animals to explore. The flaps are on the thinner side compared to others on this list but we managed to not lose any flaps which is a miracle.
Does A Firefighter Fly A Rocket?
I swear Riley’s favorite past-time is yelling NOOOO at silly books like this that ask her if cows meow or, in this case, if firefighters fly rockets.
Featuring large flaps, this one tries to figure out just what vehicle a firefighter drives while also discovering who actually DOES drive the wrong vehicle. There’s another one called Does An Astronaut Drive a Tractor?
I liked these vehicle-centric ones because I always felt like we had SO many animal-centric flap books that it was nice to have some different ones.
Have your kids enjoyed any of these lift the flap books for babies and toddlers? I’d love to hear some of your favorite books with flaps for kids! I’m especially eager for any you might have for 4 year olds and up! I have struggled to find good lift-the-flap books for older preschoolers.
P.S. Looking for seasonal kids books?
- Best Books For Their Easter Baskets
- Best Fall Books For Toddlers and Babies
- Best Christmas Books For Babies
- Best Christmas Books For Toddlers
- Best Pumpkin Books For Kids
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