Search and find books are actually quite educational, even though there isn't necessarily much "reading" going on. But, they are great for toddlers and teach things like comparison, following directions, matching, object identification, and sometimes things like colors, shapes, and counting.
Here are four that we use quite often!
Tinkerbell: First Look and Find
This is a great search and find book because the book itself is large, the pictures are very vibrant, and the pages are quite sturdy. In Tinkerbell's version the images include lots of fairies, animals, and objects exclusive to "Pixie Hollow" - where the book takes place. The fairy theme is really cute, especially for girls!
There are many very similar versions of this book - in case you aren't into Tinkerbell! Check out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: First Look and Find, Dora the Explorer Scavenger Hunt: Look and Find, or Hide and Seek Near and Far: Sesame Street First Look and Find.
With it being Halloween season we've also been enjoying Winnie the Pooh's Happy Halloween: First Look and Find, which I reviewed last week.
I Spy: Little Book (board book)
An adaptation of the original I Spy book.
I like this book (and the I Spy series) because unlike the books mentioned above, it uses many "common" children's toys in the pictures. It is also full of rhyming riddles and bright colors, which make it fun for toddlers.
Things That Go!: Search and Find
Baby bookworm can play with this search and find book literally for hours! Most of the "things that go" in this book are labeled, which I like because it helps the child associate the written word with the picture. The search and find scenes include an amusement park, a town, and a farm just to name a few. It's a fun way to learn all about objects that move (like a roller coaster or push toy) or different vehicles (like a motorcycle or mail truck). We'll be learning from this book for a long time!
By Martin Handford
Yes, so Where's Waldo? books are for older kids and even adults. BUT...baby bookworm loves to play Where's Waldo? so I thought I would include it. This is a search and find book where you have to find Waldo and his crew of friends while they are on their travels. These are HARD books. So hard it actually takes me a looooong time (I won't admit how long) to find Waldo hidden in the scene. The illustrations are REALLY detailed (that's the point) but they are also really artistic. Baby bookworm really loves just looking at all of the silly characters throughout the book. And, once I finally do find Waldo - I point it out to baby bookworm....and we put the book away. And guess what? The next time we play Where's Waldo? baby bookworm can find exactly where Waldo is from memory. How's that for a memory game?
Now, suppose you have a baby and not a toddler? Well, I think these search and find books are great practice for building your child's receptive vocabulary.
If you are looking for activities to go along with these books, here are a few ideas:
1) In the spirit of Halloween, a great search and find activity that baby bookworm and I played this week was "Ghostbusters". Here's what you need to do:
- create a bunch of ghosts out of white construction paper
- place (or hide) them in a room in your house (outside could work too, though)
- play the Ghostbusters theme music
- invite your child to go on a ghostbusting search, and find all of the hidden ghosts!
2) Play Read & Find (activity found on the No Time for Flashcards blog)
3) Create a DIY Eye-Spy Book (activity found on the No Time for Flashcards blog)
4) Create a search and find discovery bottle (activity found on the Diapered Daze and Knights blog)
Have fun searching and finding!