Amalia’s Favorite Toddler Books & TV Shows

From a very early age, Amalia has been a book lover. She comes from a long line of avid readers, but I never expected her to take to books so early and with such enthusiasm. I remember at only a few months old when she would be sitting on my lap in her glider and look over to the bookshelf to tell me she wanted to read. It was the first form of communication (besides crying) that she showed me. Then her first word was book (sounded more like buh) and she is constantly asking for “mommy readabook!” these days.

We usually read 1-2 books first thing in the morning and 4-5 before bed. Then she reads in the car on the way to and from school and, according to her teachers, she reads to her friends and baby dolls in her class. What I find adorable is that she’s memorized most of her favorites so she will sit and “read” them out loud and it looks like she’s actually reading because she knows all the words.

As she’s gotten a little older, we’ve introduced TV into her life. I wrote about our stance on screen time a while ago and it’s similar today. We let her watch 30 minutes of TV on weekend mornings and once in a while on a rainy afternoon too. We try hard not to let her watch anything on weekdays, but she might end up watching an episode or two of something on a weeknight if we’re feeling generous slash tired. My main rule is to never have passive TV going, aka having the TV on in the background while we do other things. Unless Anel is watching golf on a weekend, it’s a no-no for me. My mom always had this rule in our house so I think I’m just used to that. But, as always, no judgment to anyone who has different rules in their house. This is just what works best for us.

It should be noted that Amalia is in daycare during the week and if she were home with me full time I would probably not be so strict about this.

Today I’m sharing all of Amalia’s favorite toddler books and TV shows.

Amalia’s Favorite Books

I’m so sad to say that she is over Sandra Boynton books at the moment. She’ll let me read Hippos Go Berserk every once in a while but that’s it these days. I’m hoping she comes back around to them soon. We read multiple SB books daily for almost two years and they’re the only ones that I never get sick of.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Car: She has a soft spot for cars and trucks and lovessss this book before bed. I sing it like the song but with the book’s lyrics. It’s very sweet.

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way: We have all of the Little Blue Truck books (per her love of transportation) and right now this one is her favorite. We’re also getting into our Halloween books and LBT Halloween is a great one.

Peppa Pig: Night Creatures: Our neighbor gave her this for her birthday and it’s become a fast favorite. She has a lot of Peppa books, but this one comes with a tiny little flashlight so that she can help “find the night creatures” in the story. Plus now she knows what a snail and hedgehog are.

Cows in the Kitchen: She discovered this gem and school and sings it constantly. It’s very cute.

I Spy Everything: Amalia loves books where she can interact too, and this one is great because it helps us work on her letters as well.

Let’s Learn in my Neighborhood: This Daniel Tiger book is also interactive. We go through each page and find the different characters and items. She loves it. I’ve started coming up with new things to find because she’s memorized the whole thing!

Yummy Yucky: My sister gave her this book for Christmas last year and it’s still a hit. She thinks the “boogers are yucky” page is hilarious and it helps us even when we aren’t reading it when she tries to eat her boogers. We remind her of the book and she stops right away.

Pete the Cat: Pete at the Beach: Amalia is very into Pete the Cat (see more below in TV shows) and any books that involve her buddy Pete make her happy. I included her number one pick at the moment because it’s a cute story about getting over fears. Whenever we read it over the summer I’d mention her fear of seaweed and IDK if it helped or not but she got over that fear which was exciting for all of us.

Sheep in a Jeep: Any book with multiple short stories is good for before bed. Sheep in a Jeep is a new addition to our collection and much requested as of late.

Amalia’s Favorite TV Shows

In the last month or two, I think she’s starting to understand the storylines of TV shows for the first time. She will laugh when she thinks something is funny and talk about what’s happening. It’s been fun to see this change in her!

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (Prime): Out of all the little kid shows I’ve watched, Daniel Tiger is by farmy personal favorite so I push it on her more than others. For anyone new to the toddler TV game, Daniel Tiger picked up where Mr. Rogers dropped off and the cartoon version of one of my favorite childhood shows is all about learning lessons like grown-ups always comes back, use your words, and stop and listen to stay safe

Peppa Pig (Prime): What little girl isn’t into Peppa and her cute little family of piggies? I’ve heard of kids developing British accents from watching the show so much. We aren’t quite there but Amalia loves all things Peppa Pig. She has a Peppa dollhouse, Peppa toys, and Peppa books. She loves to play make-believe with them all. She thinks Daddy Pig is hilarious!

Tayo the Bus (Netflix): Just a warning, the theme song will get in your head for days. Amalia sings it endlessly but it’s cute how much she loves the little blue bus who learns lessons around town with his bus and car pals.

Titipo Titipo (Netflix): Apparently even kids shows get spin-offs because Tayo’s train-friend, Titipo has his own show and it’s quite the hit. Same idea as Tayo, but the train version.

Paw Patrol (Prime): I am not a fan of Paw Patrol, but we got into it because her daycare friends wouldn’t stop talking about it. So finally I gave in and let her watch it. Big mistake. It’s a show about a team of puppies who always save the day but for some reason, I can’t stand watching it. Amalia, however, is very much a fan.

Pete the Cat (Prime): The theme song (by Elvis Costello no less) states that Pete the Cat is one groovy dude and I’d have to agree. The music is on point and the stories are fairly funny which makes PTC a fun one to watch.

For more of Amalia’s faves, check out her favorite books from 0-6 months and her favorite Christmas books.

Let us know what your toddlers love to read and watch so we can add your recos to our list!

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  1. Kate said:

    Do you do Sesame Street? It’s hands down my favorite. ❤️ We too are big Peppa fans ! She’s the best.

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I wish she would get into it, but she doesn’t seem to be a fan yet for whatever reason. I haven’t tried for a few months so maybe I’ll try again now. Good call!

      9.24.19 · Reply
  2. Devon said:

    I developed a love for a few books through my babysitting years – The Napping House is short and has good pictures (and the author has several good books). I also LOVE Eric Carl books – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider – the board book versions are sturdy enough for reading over and over, but they are enjoyable in any shape and size! Being from Maine I’m partial to One Morning in Maine and Blueberries for Sal (by Robert McCloskey) and Miss Rumphius (Barbara Cooney). They are a little longer (although Blueberries for Sal is short and funny) so good maybe in a year or two but so wonderful.

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Ohhh I forgot to include Eric Carl! I love those but she’s not into any of them besides Brown Bear Brown Bear which is definitely a family favorite. Blueberries for Sal was one of my all-time favorites growing up. I’m going to get it for her, good call.

      9.24.19 · Reply
  3. Sasha said:

    I’m a former preschool teacher and I don’t have kids yet, but I do have a niece who is is Amalia’s age and love sharing some of my favorite books with her. Her current favorites are the David series by David Shannon- No David! is her favorite and she has it memorized. I also got her The Pigeon HAS to Go to School by Mo Willems- there’s a bunch of other books by the same author about a ‘naughty’ pigeon, but I picked that one because she just started school 🙂

    Also she loves a show on Netflix called Little Baby Bum. It’s basically just animated nursery rhymes but she loves it for some reason and it’s great for long car rides or planes.

    Thanks for these suggestions- going to have to get a few of them for my niece!

    9.24.19 · Reply
  4. Such a great post – bookmarking it for our little guy!

    Have you checked out StoryBots? My niece and nephew loved this show, which was great because my sister actually loved it too! Lots of great learning and cool guests (even Snoop Dogg!).

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Never heard of it but any kids show with Snoop Dogg is a winner in my book!

      9.24.19 · Reply
  5. Tricia said:

    I think it would be good for you to acknowledge that Amalia goes to daycare full time during the week. If my children were gone all day it would be easy to have zero screen time all week, but that is not very realistic for the average stay at home parent. Just don’t want other mom’s who are home with their kids all week feel bad that they don’t follow those same restrictions.

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Very very very good point. I’m going to add that into the copy now!

      9.24.19 · Reply
  6. Elizabeth said:

    My daughter who is almost 2.5 has also recently gotten into Paw Patrol and I agree- it’s pretty bad! She has been a big Sesame Street fan since we first let her watch TV (when she turned 1) and also likes Esme & Roy which is on HBO. Also, check out the book called Motor Goose which is all the classic nursery rhymes but re-worded to be about cars, trucks, etc. My daughter really loves it!

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      I really need to try SS again. I really want her to love it! We’ll try Motor Goose, sounds like it’s right up her alley.

      9.24.19 · Reply
  7. Carolyn said:

    I LOVE Sandra Boynton. 15 Animals is legitimately my favorite book ever. My baby isn’t quite old enough to have opinions yet, so there is a lot of SB going on over here:)

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      OMG we don’t even have that one! Maybe if I buy it she’ll be into SB again. I’m so jealous you can read whatever you want right now. Soak it up, doesn’t last long 🙂

      9.24.19 · Reply
  8. Jessica said:

    Totally agree with you!! My daughter is 2.5 and LOVES Paw Patrol and I just absolutely hate it. I know that sounds awful, but I do. We aren’t strict with TV and she likes Peppa and Daniel, but asks for PP alot! Peg + Cat is another good one. It is a PBS show and it is centered around math!! I am happiest when she is watching a PBS show (I know that sounds crazy). 🙂

    9.24.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      PP is the worst. I don’t even know why I hate it so much haha. I’ll try Peg + Cat, thanks for the tip! That doesn’t sound crazy at all BTW

      9.24.19 · Reply
  9. Anastasia said:

    We’re going on a bear hunt is a really good book. Oliver Jeffers books are usually all good with nice illustrations. Happy reading!

    9.24.19 · Reply
  10. Kristin said:

    This may be a bit too simple for Amalia’s age because there are no words but our friends who have 2 and 3 year olds still love this one. The Pantone Color Book for kids is so amazing and so chic. My baby loved it from when she could focus on colors and simple images. As she’s getting older (15 months now) she’s transfixed by the color swatches and runs her fingers over them. I always give this as a baby shower gift.

    I love these kind of posts by the way, I always get so many ideas from your post and all the comments.

    https://www.amazon.com/Pantone-Colors/dp/1419701800

    9.24.19 · Reply
  11. Hannah said:

    We’re very much into Curious George and Dinosaur Train (both in PBS Kids app) these days. I like them both bc they seem to impart some educational information even if he’s not totally picking it all up yet
    As for books, still into Brown Bear as well as anything with numbers and letters

    9.24.19 · Reply