What Are Board Books?

Updated by Brittany Vincent

If you have kids of your own, or enjoy looking back fondly on your childhood, you've probably seen, or read, your fair share of board books. On the other hand, the term “board book” might be a little confusing if you’ve never heard of them before. After all, one might assume you’re talking about an actual board—whiteboard, billboard, you name it—when mentioning one!

That’s not the case, of course, in the world of raising kids.

Board books are oversized, durable versions of regular books that come with bright and colorful illustrations, thick cardboard pages, and fun stories to help children and young readers learn to love reading while ensuring they can take care of their very first books. They’re simple to read, easy to hold, not difficult to manage in little hands, and—maybe most importantly—they can take a beating.

If you're going to become a parent soon or might be taking care of some munchkins in the near future, it's a good idea to get acquainted with these fun little books. Ready to learn all about board books? Here's everything you need to know about them.


What Are Board Books?

Board books are a special type of children's book that are designed to be safe and long-lasting for young children. You can think of them as a special "first book" for infants , toddlers, and kids who can’t yet read. They're made with thick cardboard pages and come with hardcover bindings, so they're more durable than traditional paper books. This makes them a great choice for kids who need to learn how to handle books without damaging them.

Unlike regular books, board books are made to be chewed on, thrown around, and even drooled on without falling apart. That's what makes them perfect for toddlers! Their sturdy construction helps young children develop their motor skills, too. They have pages that kids can turn and thus can explore each book on their own.

Board books usually have large, colorful illustrations and simple, easy-to-understand text. They're designed to help young children learn about the world around them and improve their literacy skills. The text is often repetitive, too, which helps children learn new words and phrases through the repetition. So if you're reading one to a child and find yourself saying the same words over and over, that's totally on purpose.

Most importantly, board books are meant to be safer than regular books. They don't have sharp edges or corners. They're also made out of non-toxic materials so little mouths can chew and teethe without any dire consequences. Like most toys for infants and toddlers, safety is key!


What Types of Board Books Exist?

Not all board books are created equal! There are different types created for various age groups and aimed at numerous developmental stages. These are just a few examples:

**Alphabet and number books: **These board books are designed to help kids learn the alphabet and numbers.

Touch-and-feel books: These board books are made to help kids enrich their sense of touch. They often have textured pages that children can feel, like fur, feathers, or sandpaper (think: soft fur on a bunny or maybe a snake's scaly skin). It's sensory play at its finest!

Concept books: Concept books help teach kids about different concepts such as shapes, colors, and sizes.

Lift-the-flap books: These board books have flaps that young kids can lift to reveal hidden pictures or information. Lift-the-flap books are great for encouraging toddlers to interact with the books they read, develop curiosity, or learn about object permanence.

There’s a board book for just about any stage and age of budding reader. If you’re looking to introduce the children in your life to these fun and helpful reading aids, there are tons of great places to start on Cratejoy!


Ready to build your own board book library? Subscribe to the Board Books for Babies box for two board books and a plushie per month!