Books for Kids Who Don’t Sit Still (a Gift Guide)

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Books for Kids Who Don't Sit Still (a Gift Guide)

I started reading to my babies the day they were born. My first son was always willing to have a cuddle and read a book. My second son was a different story! Once he learned to move on his own he had no interest whatsoever in sitting down to listen to a book. I had to find a way to capture his attention, and since he was clearly a MOVER I had to find books that MOVED! Maybe you have someone who doesn’t sit still on your holiday list this year? Give some of these great books a go!

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo

Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis, Illustrated by Daniel Kirk

The train-like rhythm and catchy rhyme of this adorable train book is perfect for a lap-bounce. Bright bold illustrations capture a tot’s visual attention while the repetitious “Whooo-Whooo!” phrase is easily predicted and mimicked throughout the book. Start out slow like a train engine just beginning the day and work up to full speed as the train hurtles through the city. When the “Sleepy, sleepy choo-choo” nears the engine shed the book’s rhythm naturally slows down and so can the bouncing….unless of course your little one begs ‘again again!’

Barnyard Dance

Barnyard Dance! by Sandra Boynton

“Stomp your feet! Clap your hands! Everybody ready for a barnyard dance!” Yup, this book gives you step by step directions for a mini hoe-down and kids LOVE it. Hilarious farm animals lead the promenade in a toe-tapping, foot stomping, hand clapping romp that is sure to get everyone up and moving!

Shake My Sillies Out  The Singable Songs Collection

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

This “Songs to Read” book is a classic Story Time ‘get-the-wiggles-out’ activity. The melody line and chords are included in the back of the book, or add the CD for a great combination gift!

If You're a Monster and You Know It

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley

Super fun remake of the classic “If You’re Happy and You Know It” will have young kids in hysterics as they stomp their paws and twitch their tails. Bold and bright illustrations will make them want to keep an eye on the book all while using their imaginations!


Jump! by Scott M. Fischer

When a frog in a bog gets a big surprise and must get away fast he will JUMP! Fun rhyming text which my kids follow with great anticipation until they too can JUMP! Perfect for a lap-bounce or letting toddlers and preschoolers stand next to the reader and JUMP!

Count the Monkeys

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett, Illistrated by Kevin Cornell

This is one of the silliest books I have come across this year, and I probably read it 100 times since we checked it out of the library 3 days ago. Wackiness ensues on every page and it is wildly unpredictable in the best of ways. As if that weren’t enough, the real bonus is that the listener is asked to move in some way on almost every page to help move the story along. Completely engaging and a ton of fun, it is on my 3 year old’s wish list.

About Anne McKernan

Once upon a time Anne McKernan, a very tired mother of two, walked in to a library ... the next thing she knew she was leading her town library's story time programs. Read more at


  1. Saw this pinned on pinterest and loved it already! My 18 month old is totally in this “audience.” Thanks for the suggestions!

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