Indoor Activity #1: Storytime at Home

It's over 100 degrees today and so we're definitely not venturing out into the scorching sunlight this afternoon. 

That said, it's hard to keep an almost-2-year-old indoors all day without going cray-zee. One of the ultimate sanity savers in our house on days like today are books.

We read book-after-book. And it's always nice to have a few new ones to pull out. Looking for a few to add to your home collection?

Indoor Activity #1: Storytime at Home 1That's Not My Puppy (1999, Usborne Publishing, $7.99). This square-shaped board book is a "touchy-feely book," meaning you can feel each puppy's "fluffy tail," "bumpy paws," and "squashy nose." The simple text, accompanied by bright illustrations, makes this interactive little book an ideal choice for the very youngest of babies up to about age two. P.S. If you've never heard of Usborne books, I urge you to check out their online catalog. I'm so impressed by Usborne's extensive collection of educational and fun books at affordable prices. You can take a peek at the collection and make purchases (that will benefit a stay-at-home mom, by the way) at Usborne Books At Home or  

Indoor Activity #1: Storytime at Home 2Colors. Opposites. Numbers. (2008, Educational Publishing, $6.99 each). Do you ever find yourself looking at board books with your little one, but you're not quite sure what to say as you turn the pages? These books by Early Start are designed for exactly that scenario. The books are interactive and teach basic concepts (colors, numbers, opposites, etc.) using colorful graphics and pull-out flaps. At the bottom of each page - in small text - you'll find a narrative of ideas for what YOU can say (Ex. "Many things are red. This apple is red. What do you do with an apple?"). 

Indoor Activity #1: Storytime at Home 3My First Words (2008, DK Publishing, $9.99). These kind of "vocabulary" books are among my very favorite. Each page is full of vibrant photographs and corresponding words. Organized by "category" (Clothes and Shoes, Around the House, Food and Drink, etc.), the book is essentially a picture dictionary for infants and toddlers. The pages are sturdy (aka non-rippable) and the book is specifically designed to "help your child get talking."

What books help you and your little one(s) pass the day?

WIN IT! There will be three winners. The first winner will receive That's Not My Puppy. A second winner will receive all three featured books in the Early Start series - Colors, Numbers, Opposites.  A third winner will receive My First Words. To enter, leave a comment on this post prior to Saturday, June 21 at midnight (don’t forget to follow the rules). * Winners must provide U.S. mailing addresses. 

*UPDATE* The three winners are #123 Jennifer, #84 Vickie Couturier, and #37 Stacey Moore. Congratulations!

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165 comments on “Indoor Activity #1: Storytime at Home”

  1. If you’ve never heard of Usborne books, I urge you to check out their online catalog. I’m so impressed by Usborne’s extensive collection of educational and fun books at affordable prices.

  2. Simple text, accompanied by bright illustrations, makes this interactive little book an ideal choice for the very youngest of babies up to about age two.

  3. Books are the best Prizes! A new baby is in my family's future-so a new children's book would be a nice thing to share! Thanks for the chance to Win!!!

  4. I am expecting my 2nd grandson any day now. Would love to be able to give these as a gift! I already have a grandson that's two, he would enjoy them now. I usually give him some type of learning book for his birthday, books are great! Thanks for the nice contest.

  5. ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
    The simple text, accompanied by bright illustrations, makes this interactive little book an ideal choice for the very youngest of babies up to about age two.

    ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **

  6. What a great contest! I would love to win some books for my new little niece, Gracie. I was very impressed to learn the "my first" series of books has sold over 15 million in the US. These must really be great books.

  7. I think you can never have too many children's books! They can only make a kid smarter! I hope I win!

  8. I love these books! They are such a fun way for little ones to learn and I really love the special time it gives me with my daughter.

  9. PERFECT for the New Baby!! (Due July 26th) My first son chewed up (when he was teething) all of his old Board books! Lol - Therefore this would be GREAT for us!!

  10. My son could read Curious George books with me for hours. He also loves Goodnight Moon at bedtime.

  11. My two boys love story time each day we sit down and read a story. They are only three and five so reading is just beginning but we love that time cause its a time where the whole family can enjoy each others company

    thanks for a great giveaway

  12. My four year old adores books and made up stories from me. He'd love these books...suprisingly he doesnt have the ones up for grabs! I'd love to enter him in this.

  13. i believe education is not just a school but also a home thing and I would love to have these books to start early teaching them

  14. My kids love their acitivity books! They're great for waiting in the doctors offices or just to pass the time!

  15. My son loves to read! These would be great for his birthday next week (he'll be 2)!! Thank you for this opportunity!! :)

  16. My 2 year old is really getting into looking at books now. He loves the ones with animals in them. He would love any of these books. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  17. I'd take any of these books. We have to rebuild a baby book collection because my middle daughter completely destroyed all of her baby books. For the littlest we read the same 3 stories every night and when she sees them she usually screams because she knows bedtime is imminent. For the middle, we just finished Wind in the Willows (she's 6 and that was a real challange - there were a ton of words I didn't even know) and the 15 year old reads on her own now.

  18. Our two-year-old daughter would find all of these books enjoyable. And, I like the fact that she can learn from them too! :)

  19. I have been stalking the puppy book on amazon for awhile. They make quite a few. That's not my puppy, fairy, etc. They look very cute and the first words books are great for having pictures to start talking about with your toddler.

  20. My son has some problems with a lisp, with the vocabulary/picture books, he's learning and we're practicing his letter sounds in a totally stress free way! I would suggest these books to any parent, but also specifically for parents with children who need a little more help with their speech :) Thanks for the fun give-away!

  21. Reading to your child not only helps with bonding, it also helps your child do better in school.

  22. We love to read. My two year old gets 3 stories before nap and before bedtime and her vocabulary is terrific. My 8 month old is currently chewing on the board books and closing them on my fingers. It is so important to have them loving books right from the start.

  23. It's beautiful and sunny here in the upper 70s. I guess we'll just have to flip-flop places because I know you are always outside while I am here dealing with the depths of winter!

    My son would love these books; especially the puppy one! Books are one of our favorite indoor activities too. I'm always amazed as he gets bored with other activities so easily he never tires of books. I love when he picks one out all by himself, brings it to me and then does the back-up walk into my lap.

  24. I am a big fan of children's books! I collect old ones. I love the illustrations that usually accompany their books. Your books are sensational. Please enter me in your drawing. I really appreciate it.....Cindi

  25. My daughter brings me book after book after book to read to her. She never gets tired of it. I'm so happy about it!

  26. And yet another great giveaway! These books are fantastic. My little girl and first grade class would enjoy them so much.

  27. I have a 3 yr old grandson an a 5 month old grandson,who I will be keeping while their mom goes back to work an I want to start like a preschool an do learning an no TV,so this would be great,thanks

  28. You're right about Usborne, they have some fab books - I love the 'Fun With Baby' set. My daughter and I also read heaps. We take out a stack of library books each week and we read, read, read - even at under two years old, she loves her books:) I find Jez Alborough to be a particularly great author for her age group.

  29. I was just introduced to Usborne recently. I bought a few things for my alphabet book a pop out Nativity book (I'm keeping aside for's a great quality book too!) and First Words SNAP game. He really loves the game, we play it all the time and he enjoys the alphabet book too..there's a little chic hiding on every page and he likes to find it. I'd love to win "That's Not My Puppy" for my 8 month old. He's just starting to enjoy touch and feel books.

  30. My daughter is really exploring MY old childhood books now, which is really fun. My mom thinks it's funny that she gravitates towards my favorites, even when Dad reads to her.

  31. My daughter is 7 months old and we are just starting to read her a book every night before bedtime. She would love these!

  32. We love books--we used to have "That's Not my Dinosaur"; the kids really enjoyed it. It got lost at some point . . .

  33. For anyone who doesn't know about the "That's not my... Puppy" It's great. My son loves all those books. Love to win any of them though. Thanks.

  34. These books are wonderful...would love to win for wonderful friend, and new mom...who would just love these...thanks so much for great contest :)

  35. We have sooooo many books! I try to pick different ones all the time but I was told recently that children learn best by repetition so maybe I'll start reading I Love You More over and over again! Haha!

  36. My toddler could really use this, she is having speech delay issues. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

  37. I love reading, so I'm so glad my daughter has taken an interest in books. We only read for short periods of time, 5 minutes or so. But we try to have reading time at least 2 or 3 times each day.

  38. I love learning books. My daughter loves to help out with the reading. It is great fun for a rainy day!

  39. My toddler loves books!! His favorite book is I Love You Forever, and will have me read it to him over and over!! Thanks for the great contest! chrisandamyward at comcast dot net

  40. My kids are happy to read the same book over and over and over..... It doesn't matter what book! We have lots of books. I love Max Lucado's Just in Case You Ever Wonder.

  41. My son Gabriel loves books, we read an average of 5-10 books a day, throughout the day. I let him pick out a few and the rest Mommy picks out, because its always good for a change and a big surprise to read something new.

    To answer your question: What books help you and your little one(s) pass the day? As of lately we read on a daily/weekly basis "Goodnight Moon" (always at bedtime), "A Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle and A few scriptures from the Bible. He's only 15 months old but he loves sitting in my lap and hearing me read, as well as I know it also benefits our unborn daughter Helana to hear my voice while reading, so I'm reading to two of my munchkins at the same time!

  42. My daughter would love these books. We are learning our colors, shapes and numbers and we love to look at books together. Thanks.

  43. Fun books - we have the "That's Not my Puppy" one, and have really enjoyed it. Books are the one thing I never feel bad spending money on.

  44. My daughter loves to read although she's too yound to actually read she'll make up her own stories then tell you the actual story once I read it to her.

  45. Our son could use his own books. Our daughter has a problem handing down any of her outgrown books or toys.

  46. Wow, those all sound great! I love vocabulary books, too. My son wont sit still long enough, yet, to get through a whole book, but I know he will one day! When I used to babysit, I would always choose the vocab books--the pictures are always incredible!

  47. Our favorite books by far are Sandra Boynton. My toddler loves "Moo, Baa, La La La." The "Going to Bed Book" is also a favorite here. He also loves "There's a Monster at the End of this Book" with Grover. We can never have enough books here.

  48. All those books sound like great books. My 8 year has had some trouble with reading.He really hates it. But I am trying to make it as fun as possible. We have a reward system going all summer long. For every book he reads he gets .50 cents.The catch is he can't spend the money until he has saved to the 50.00 dollar amount.

  49. These books sound cute. That's Not My Puppy! Makes me curious. Remember the Pokey Little Puppy? My husband and I just had a "discussion" about it. I always thought Pokey meant he was slow, like slow poke but my husband made me realise he was pokey because he was poking his nose around everywhere and wandering!

  50. All 3 of the books listed look great. I like the interactive aspect of the Colors. Opposites. Numbers. book and the sturdiness of the My First Words book. Personally, I have not had alot of success with Usborne Books. They have a tendency to last a week or two before they are pulled apart by my daughter.

  51. My kids love their craft books, we pick an activity out of it and we have a blast creating. We love our movie books, like Ratatouille, Lady and The Tramp, Monster's Inc., also the classic books like The Cat in the Hat. We go to the library every other week and the kids love picking out and discovering new books.

  52. Aww, those all three look great! A bit young for my son but he'd love them anyway! He's reading some dr seuss right now, his favorite books at the moment are Pete's a Pizza and Where the Wild things are. My middle son just finished the Warriors (Erin Hunter) series that my oldest passed to him and she is really into the Twilight series, read the last one in THREE DAYS. Yeah, she's a fast reader :)

  53. I am such a huge fan of children's books - it's all I read and my kids have benefited =) I'd love to win the books for my daughter and nephew! Thanks for the chance

  54. Great giveaway!!! I love anything to do with learning time for my girls. I have one going into Kindergarten this next school year and one going into first grade...having our "learning time" everyday helps keep what they've learned through out the year fresh in their memories.

  55. These are fabulous books! I love the tactile addition of the first two and the sturdiness of the last. I read to my daughter from day one. It's so important! I plan on gifting these (well, if I win, of course). Children's books are a passion.

  56. My little girls and I LOVE books. These books look great. We have not gotten any new books in a while and they will be thrilled if we win. Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  57. My sister is an Usborn consultant, and we have some of their books. Great! We are a reading family (as you know, since we've borrowed some of your books...thanks!) and would love more books to add to the repertoire. Yay books!

  58. We own the puppy book and love it already but we'd be happy to give it away to friends if we win all three!

  59. Stephanie -

    Thanks for mentioning Usborne Books! I'm an independent consultant for the company (in Indiana) and got on board because I loved the books so much, I wanted to get as many as I could for my daughter at a discount! I just thought I'd mention that the link you posted to is for an independent consultant in Kansas. Although I'm sure she can ship anywhere, I would recommend that anyone interested find a local consultant (there are hundreds in each state) who can service them best. You can find a consultant near you by visiting the main Usborne site at, and in the upper right corner there is a yellow rubber duck that says "Find Your Consultant."

    Usborne has fantastic kids books for birth through teen years, including many reference, nonfiction books that are preferred by many home-schoolers. An Usborne consultant can help you shop for the books that meet your child's learning style and preferences best.

    There are also many Usborne books available through and limited titles through Barnes and Noble and other booksellers.

    Teaching kids the joy of reading is simply priceless. Happy shopping!

  60. I would soooo love to win the "Thats not my puppy" book for my daughter! I'd stash it for her birthday next month- we already have "Thats not my lion" and "Thats not my tractor." She'd be thrilled to have the puppy one too!!

  61. We love That's Not My Puppy. My youngest sleeps with it in his crib. In the morning, I can hear him "reading" it. It's so cute.

  62. My one year olds favorite books are two little Veggie Tales books.
    He also likes this book I just picked up at a used book sale. It is Bananas Gorilla's Sounds by Richard Scarry. I loved Scarry's books when I was little too.

  63. The puppy book looks so cute! My daughter LOVES anything with animals which is one of the reasons why her first word was "duck", followed by "kitty" and "dog". Just this week she started getting into the picture vocab books. She likes to point to the picture to find out what it is called. Great giveaway! We could always use more books!

  64. Bridget *loves* the vocab books, too, because they show real pictures. She often tells me she wants to "jump in the book" and play with the kids or eat the cupcake or smell the flower. It gets me every time!

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