Best Books for 3 Year Olds
Great Books For 3 Year Olds.
Reading with a 3 year old is great. They have gone past the stage of books with one or two sentences and have graduated onto proper storytelling. This means you can choose good story and picture books that you will both enjoy and you will not mind reading aloud to them again and again.
Books open up another world at this age. You can read books about different places, subjects, animals and interests. They are great for communicating with a young child. You can talk about the story and any feelings and emotions that it bought up. Books can help explain different situations. They can also allow a child to explore their imaginations and meet different charcters such as princesses and pirates that children this age often love. Good books help widen vocabulary and studies show that young children who are read to at home have a better start at school.
Best of all reading means that parents, carers and grandparents can sit down with a child and enjoy spending quality time together. Make the most of this special age where children are inquisitive and open to learning and reading. Buy or borrow lots of classic and popular books, don't get bored with the same stories over and over again and enjoy reading with a 3 year old. Here are a few ideas and suggestions of what I think are the best books for 3 year olds to get you started. Explore what's available and choose books that you think both you and the 3 year old will enjoy.
Classic Books For 3 Year Olds
If you're looking for books that have stood the test of time or those you remember from your own childhood, here is a selection that you may like.
"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement.
If you haven't introduced your 3 year old to The Hungry Caterpillar yet - it's not too late.
At age 3, my son loved this book.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt is a modern classic. Lots of use of repetitive language and rhythm to help improve vocabulary and language.
It's a great book to act out as you read it, moving through the long grass, the deep cold river and squelching through the swamp. And then you can do the actions faster when you're running away from the bear at the end.
There's lots of classic Dr Seuss books that you can read to 3 year old children and One Fish, Two Fish etc is just one of them.
The book features lots of ridiculous rhymes to ignite a child's imagination! The rhymes also explore simple concepts such as color, numbers and opposites,
Interactive Books for 3 Year Olds
There are lots of books available where 3 year olds can interact with the book and the story. Ideas include lift the flap books, puppet books and books where you can make decisions. My son used to love these types of books when he was three and they are great fun for adults to read and join in with too.
This is a lift the flap book that my son absolutely loved. It was his favorite book for ages. It's a lift the flap book with a difference. Each flap has the option of opening a different item in the witch's kitchen to discover either a yummy or yucky thing.
The only thing I would warn it does contain some toilet humor so if that's not your thing - avoid. But if that doesn't bother you I would highy recommend.
Lift the flap books are very popular with 3 year olds and you can't go wrong with the classic hide and seek tale of Where's Spot.
The adult can use the puppet in the front of the book and children can have a go as well.
Lend a hand to the Barnyard Boogie and the barnyard animals in this sing-song story will come to life
Lots of fun!
Books for 3 Year Old Boys
Check out the ideas below of the best books for 3 year old boys. Boys at this age especially love trucks and trains.
3 year old boys will love My Truck is Stuck. Great illustration, rhyming and funny too. This book has everything a young boy will love.
The Goodnight Train is a great bedtime books for little boys who love trains. It's another rhyming book with some magical words and illustrations.
Choo Choo - grab your teddy, climb aboard the goodnight train is of to dreamland station. And whatever you do don't close your eyes!
Pirate lovers will enjoy the excellent illustrations and wonderful story of "How I Became a Pirate". Great for doing voices and acting out.
My son is a bit car mad and loves anything to do with cars.
This book is perfect for him.
There's lots of detail, vocabulary and fun.
There is lots going on, in every page such as finding the "Goldbug" on each spread. The great thing about this book is that it will be a favorite for years to come.
Books for 3 Year Old Girls
Having two boys has meant that we haven't read too many traditional girly stories about princesses, fairies and other girls. However, my niece absolutely loved the book below which is a princess story with a difference.
A princess story but not as we normally know it.
This princess has hiking boots and lots of questions for her daddy. As this princess and her daddy wander through the woods, all kinds of wonders reveal themselves. She discovers that no matter who you are, a princess lies inside of us.
A great book for daddy's to read with their daughters.
Frozen is extremely popular with 3 year olds this year, so a book with the characters of Frozen will appeal to girls who have seen the movie.
This book retells the story of the movie.
This book is in catchy rhyming text and tells the story of Rosie who is quiet in class but when nobody is looking she finds materials in the trash and builds all kinds of creations.
More Favorite Books for 3 Year Olds
The book below "Giraffes Can't Dance" is another of my son favorites (and mine too). I don't mind reading this one over and over.
I love the illustrations and the moral message of this book. Gerald the Giraffe doesn't really fit in so he finds his own tune to dance to.
This tells the story of Gerald.
Gerald loves to dance and wants to dance like the other animals. But when he does dance the other animals mock him.
But then, Gerald receives some wise words from a friend who tells him he can dance he just needs a different song.
Rhyming text and big colorful illustrations make this a winner in our house.
Bedtime Stories and Books for 3 Year Olds - My Top Choice
There have been lots of books already mentioned that would make great bedtime stories for 3 year olds. But Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site is my favorite in this category.
Lovely illustrations and soothing rhyming make this a perfect bedtime book.
"As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight."
Bestselling Picture Books for 3 Year Olds 2014
There are some great new picture books that have been recently released and / or are on or have been on the New York Bestseller List as well as on bestseller list on amazon this year. They include some that have already been mentioned in the article such as the book "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site".
Here are a selection of a few more which are perfect for 3 year olds.
Following the success of Pete the Cat: I Love My Shoes, the author wrote Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons. Released in May 2012 this was still in March 2014 one of the New York Times Bestseller List for Picture Books and has excellent reviews. Adults enjoy reading this as much as the kids enjoy listening.
Pete the Cat goes walking down the street wearing his brand new white shoes. Along the way, his shoes change from white to red to blue to brown to WET as we steps in piles of strawberries, blueberries and other big messes! But no matter what color his shoes are are, Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song...because it's all good.
Press here - this is a really unusual idea for a book. It has excellent reviews and again is on the New York Bestseller book.
Open the first page to see a yellow dot. "Ready", says the narrator, "Press here and turn the page". On the next page as if by magic, a second yellow dot appears.
Each page of the book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book and then see what happens next.
More Recommended Story Books
Julia Donaldson writes highly recommended books which are brilliant for 3 year olds. Her books are really well illustrated. The rhymes are clever and lovely to read. I don't get tired of reading her books to my little boy over and over again. Our favorites are The Gruffalo and Room on a Broom.
The witch and her cat are flying on the broom. But they lose her hat, the bow from her hair and then her wand. Luckily some helpful animals find and return the items but they also want a ride on the broom. But is there room for all of them? And can they save the witch from a hungry dragon?
Learning Books for 3 Year Olds
Many 3 year olds love books which teach them about numbers, letters, colors and other concepts.
My son used to love doing activity books at this age. It's important not to push them to do activity books and read learning books that they don't enjoy. This will just build up a reluctance to books and it's important at this age they learn to love books and reading.
As well as activity books there are lots of books that teach children about the outside world and more.
Check out the activity book idea below.
This book contains over 200 learning activities teaching letters, animals, time & numbers. They pages are wipe clean so you can do them over and over again. It comes with 2 wipe clean pens.
Books for 3 Year Olds in the UK
Here are two websites that suggest good books for 3 year old boys and girls in the UK
- Best books for 3 year olds in the UK
If you're looking for good books for 3 year olds in the UK, check out this website which has some excellent suggestions.
- Best books for 3 year old girls in the UK
Good suggestions of books for 3 year old girls in the UK. Ideas include princess books, classic books and modern picture books.
Before You Go, You Might Also Like
- Best Toys for a 3 Year Old Boy
This article recommends the best toys to buy 3 year old boys. The suggestions are based on the toys my own 3 year old boy liked and played with at this age as well as gifts he received for his 3rd birthday. Balance bikes and scooters were both...
- Best Toys for 3 Year Old Girls
18 fun toy ideas to give to the special 3 year old girl you know.
Do you have any book suggestions that you think 3 year olds would love or any feedback on the suggestions in this lens? Please feel free to add a comment below.