Flip the Flaps for Extra Reading
- What: Look Inside books from Usborne
- When: Three years and up
- Why: Lots of text, interactive flaps
- Where: Amazon or Usborne
Summer has arrived, and that means long hours of kids wanting more entertainment. We try not to overindulge in electronics, and I always feel better about books and educational materials, so I love it when the kids pull out these flap books.
These books, designed for older kids, have much longer sentences and more content than the average flap board books aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. Most flaps in these books have a complete sentence inside, if not more, and some flaps have another flap hidden beneath.
My kids love these books. I love killing time with reading, especially during long summer days with no school. I do not like reading these books before bedtime, because they can easily take more than twenty minutes to get through the entire thing, despite not having a ton of pages.
I can shorten most of them as needed, by not reading every word on every page before bed. Or I will agree to read only one page spread if time is tight. But for traveling or any other time you want to burn some minutes with a quiet activity, these books can’t be beat. Unlike some of the other Usborne choices, they can be packed inside a backpack or suitcase and not take up too much real estate or add a ton of weight. But beware. Some are bigger than others. Look Inside an Airport measures about 9.5 by 10.5 inches, compared to the smaller and more packable Look Inside a Castle at 7.5 by 8.8 inches. If you plan to pack it, double check the size to make sure you get what you want.
These books also differ from the Lift and Look series of board books aimed at younger children. Despite the similar sounding name, those have only 3 or 4 flaps per page spread and no words on any of the flaps. (They are also great and we own several but for a much younger age range and they take only a few minutes to read cover to cover.) These titles offer much more detailed images with more to see for kids with longer attention spans.
Each flap lifts to reveal more non-fiction info about the topic, which range from castles to cars. Each book typically has 40 to 60 flaps both large and small to explore, though the end pages often have a few less than pages in the middle. Regardless of the topic, often all three (or more if we have friends over) kids gather around to listen once someone gets me started reading it aloud.
While most toddlers won’t make it through the entire book, they do enjoy opening and closing the flaps. You can start reading all the words once they develop the attention span for it, and these books can last well into the school age years. Topics include bodies, space, airports, food, jungles, nature, pyramids, construction sites, farms, trains, and science, and that’s not even all of them.
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