10 Best Books for 3 Year Olds in 2018

While it is true that three year olds still cannot read on their own, we can do a lot of things to help them learn some of the fundamentals of reading and help develop their pre-reading skills which usually manifest around 3 years of age. For this matter, we are sharing with you 10 of the best books for 3 year old boys or girls whether you’re going to read to them or let them scan through the pages themselves.

Our Top 3 Picks

Giraffes Can't Dance Board Book
  • Giraffes Can't Dance Board Book
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Light-Footed Rhymes
  • Price: See Here
Little Kids First Big Book of Why
  • Little Kids First Big Book of Why
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Prepare Kids for School
  • Price: See Here
The Monster at the End of This Book
  • The Monster at the End of This Book
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • A Classic Must-Read
  • Price: See Here

Criteria Used in Evaluation of The 10 Best Books for 3 Year Olds

After a long and extensive search online, our team of researchers found these wonderful top 10 books for 3-year-olds.  These books are a great addition for any kid’s library. They each benefit children’s reading development in their own unique way.
At a certain age, parents struggle putting their kids to bed. Books like the sleeping diggers and going to bed books are helpful for parents. As children get older they become more independent and start to say no a lot more. Convincing kids that it is bedtime is where they start to say no because they are either not sleepy or want to continue to play. The characters in the book show kids how much fun it is to go to sleep by example.
Kids love interactive toys. Books like Press Here and Dr. Seuss’ pop-up book engages kids in a meaningful way. These books are not just reading books, but they are also toys that can be played with over and over again.

How We Chose the Books for 3 Year Olds in Our List

Just like our section on the best books for 2 year olds, choosing a book for a child who doesn’t have the faculties for reading yet was especially challenging. For the most part we had to rely on the developmental appropriateness of the book wherein we had to make sure that its content is best suited for the cognitive skills of children of this age. The good thing about children who are already on their third year is that their vocabulary is already rapidly expanding. They already know quite a lot of words and their rudimentary meanings. While they may not yet be able to fully read what is written, we can nonetheless read to them. Because of their more developed cognition compared to a 2 year old, they can now begin to have a clear understanding of the essence of the story.

Additionally, we also had to look at the features of the book. For the most part, illustrations, drawings, images, and other visuals can help convey a particular message. We took these to heart. If the item is able to provide other benefits, then we included this, too.

Bestsellers as well as children’s books that are well-received by parents were included. Of course, the comments and reviews of parents as well as other notable critics were factored into the equation to come up with a more comprehensive evaluation of the titles we have in this list.

The Value of Reading to Our Young Kids

Three year olds cannot be expected to read on their own; not yet anyway. That is why it is imperative that we read to them to help them prepare for this very important developmental task. There are many benefits of reading especially to young toddlers and preschoolers. Chief of these is the bond that is built and nurtured especially when you cuddle your child or even sit beside him or her. This is particularly beneficial for 3 year old kids as they begin to shed their negativistic attitude and begin forming closer and stronger relationships with their parents. Trust is nurtured, if not reestablished, which can become the foundation for your kid’s social development later in his or her life.

Additionally, reading to our young children helps them develop their own language and speech skills. They learn the correct pronunciation of words as well as the meaning of such words in the story that you are reading to them. Three year olds are naturally curious. Whenever they hear a word that is particularly new to them, they will ask you to explain it to them in very simple words that they understand. This is how they grow their vocabulary which ultimately forms the foundation of their language development.

By reading to our young children, we are also introducing to them the different human emotions. Unfortunately, this only works if we are able to deliver the story in such a way that we’re reading it from the heart and not some monotonous babble. This can help build the foundation for emotional wellbeing among our kids.

The Bottom Line

Three year olds may not be able to read yet but this doesn’t mean we cannot read to them. We can use very simple sentences to help them get introduced to the joys of reading. With the help of our 10 best books for 3 year olds, you now can start building your kid’s reading skills.


Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does reading affect developing kids?

A: Kids who are exposed to reading stimulates their brain activity. When children are being read to, there are areas in the brain that begin to activate. These areas are involved in understanding concepts, memory and discovering the meaning of words.

Q: How soon should parents start reading to their kids?

A: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should start reading to their kids as soon as they are born. Kids who are exposed to reading at an early age do better in several categories. Children become more attentive in their studies, are better at critical thinking problems and can get through kindergarten easier.

Q: Why is it important to learn to read?

A: Reading is an important part of daily living. Reading is used to fill out job applications, reading road hazard signs, reading medicine bottles, the list goes on. Several adults never grasped the concept of reading. As a result, they struggle living a normal life. Reading also helps develop the mind. Teaching children to read helps them develop their language skills and learn to listen.

Q: Why is it important for young children to read books?

A: Parents who want to give their children’s best chance in life will help them learn valuable skills. One of those priceless skills is reading. Children that read have a much higher success rate in almost all aspects in life such as graduating from school and career success. Reading helps stimulate intellectual development and expand their vocabulary.

Q: What are other benefits to reading aloud to children?

A: When parents read aloud to their kids, it strengthens their bond. Reading aloud also helps encourage kids to learn to love books and reading. Reading aloud to children also helps to minimize the amount of time they spend in front of a computer monitor and other electronic devices as they get older.

Q: Do kids benefit from picture book?

A: Yes, kids benefit from picture books. Picture books engages conversations between the reader and child. Kids will start to ask questions like what is happening in the story and who are the characters in the pages. These types of books stimulate visual thinking skills and become better listeners as they develop.

You May Also Like

Best Books For 2 Year Olds
Books For 7 Year Olds
Best Books For Teenagers


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