Reading to Your Toddler The Why and How

Reading to Your Toddler

Reading to your child is a great way to teach them about the world around them and is also a great excuse for a lap snuggle. You are truly your child’s first teacher and books even simple ABC books and silly Dr. Seuss rhyming books can open worlds of imagination for the fertile mind of a toddler.

The more you read the more things you know. The more that you learn the more places you go.”  -Dr. Seuss

Why should you read to your toddler?

Because reading aloud…

builds up their vocabulary

prepares them for independent reading

improves communication skills

stimulates the imagination

is good for bonding time 

Reading to Your Toddler

How Should you read to your toddler? 

“Children are made readers in the laps of their parents”   -Emilie Buchwald

Begin when they are babies-Reading to your toddler is an important part of their development. Start reading to your baby early, the sound of your voice alone teaches them so much about the world.  As your baby moves to toddler stage add board books into their room as well as scattered about the house where they can reach them. I like to put a basket of books in the living room and I change them out every other week or so, placing a couple of seasonal books into the stash.

Teach them how to handle books– Teach your  toddler how to handle books; not biting them ,turning pages gently, putting them back on shelf. If you treat books as if they are special and model that to your child they will eventually follow suit and come to understand that although they are readily available books are a treasure.

Read Often– Throughout the day use story books and simple silly rhyming books to read to them not just at bedtime. If your child has a particular interest, such as bugs or ballerinas provide them with and read them books about their favorite subject.  Read before nap time, laying in a hammock in the yard, and yes of course before bed. Instill a love of being read to in your child and you stand a good chance of creating an avid reader.

Put some effort in it- Read with different tones and inflections, give the characters unique voices. Sing song when you read rhyming books, whisper words, and chant.  This makes it more interesting and engaging for your tot. Children will delight in your silly voices that bring characters to life and will be more inclined to listen well.

Give them Variety– Picture books, lift the flaps, rhyming, silly, informative, and fairy tales. Let them choose their favorites and be ready to read it over and over again. Repetition is how we learn, even more so a little one.

“If you want your children to be intelligent read them fairy tales”  -Albert Einstein 

These are my top 5 favorite toddler books (and well beyond toddler years)

ANYTHING by Sandra Boynton, I know this counts as more than one but I am hard pressed to say which of hers is my favorite, they are all so fun to read and I rarely tire of reading them over and over.

Karen Katz – Where is Baby’s Belly Button?

She has several different interactive, lift the flap titles that children love.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Pretty much any Eric Carle book is fabulous for the language and the illustrations.

If you are working on ABC’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a book that is fabulous for toddler through early elementary.

What are your favorite toddler books?