Shopping for gifts for toddlers is always a challenge. Most families don't have the space for yet another stuffed animal or toy. For this reason, we researched and found that the Usborne product line is the perfect solution. It is fun but educational, affortable, doesn't take up a lot of space and can be recycled when used up.
We absolutely fell in love with these products for two main reasons: their developmental impact and their practicallity.
Each one of their products has unique features that make them more entertaining and educational than other brands. Here are some of the developmental aspects they impact:
- Fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Observational skills
- First words
- They have a wide range of products to meet any age.
- They don't take up a lot of space.
- They can be easily brought on outtings (a healthier option than a tablet or cellphone).
- The books can be recycled once they have been used up or outgrown preventing clutter.
"That's not my..." Touchy-Feely Books (Age 6 months+)
Touch and feel books help develop a child's vocabulary by allowing them to connect the texture they feel with the word it describes. We love Usborne's That's not my... award winning line for the following reasons:
- There are over 30 adorable books to choose from.
- These books have a wide range of appealing textures for babies (e.g. velcro, ribbed cardboard, soft fluff).
- These books are robust and can handle a lot of chewing.
Sticker Dressing Books (Age 3 years+)
Sticker books in particular are great at developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and observational skills. Here is what we love about Usborne's Sticker Dressing and Sticker Dolly Dressing books when compared with other brands:
- The stickers can be removed and reapplied over and over.
- Each page includes a paragraph that you can read to your child to engage their imagination.
- The female characters look like actual girls (i.e. no bust and no hips).
- They have girls in all sorts of careers and sports (e.g. firefighter, police, triathlon, snowboarding, etc.)
First Colouring Book with Stickers (Ages 3+)
Both colouring and stickers are great at developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and observational skills. Here is what we love about Usborne's First Colouring Books with Stickers when compared with other brands:
- Each page reads like a toddler book so you can use it as part of storytime (e.g. counting, colors, nursery rhymes).
- There are hints on each page as to what a child can draw or stick playing into their imagination and observational skills (e.g. "Stick 3 fish in the lake").
- The pages are partially colored so younger children in the scribbling stage can still see a finished product that plays into their imagination.
Doodling, Drawing and Colouring Books (Ages 3+)
These books are a more advanced version of the First Colouring Book with Stickers. Here is what we love about Usborne's Doodling, Drawing and Colouring books when compared with other brands:
- It has the added feature of drawing by following step-by-step instructions which help develop observational skills and memory.
- There are additional hints and tips for drawing and colouring (e.g. This lonely panda wants some friends).
- The pages are partially completed so children can get ideas of what they can draw or color (e.g. Some of the monsters are missing faces).
- There is plenty of space to practice and doodle.
Where to buy
Although you may find a random book here or there, we found it better to go directly through an Independent Usborne Consultant for the following reasons:
- You will have access to all the products including the most interesting books.
- You can get one-on-one advice on what books would fit your child's needs best.
- You will have access to package deals.
- You will not have to pay provincial taxes when ordering online.
- You can save on shipping if you order from someone in your area.
- You can host a class at your house to earn some free products.
We found a great well-informed consultant at Dev's Booktique for the greater Montreal area. She can give you a private consultation to show you the books in person and to choose books that target child-specific developmental skills. She can also set up a class for a group.