Reading With Toddlers

September 7, 2015

Image of The fan Brothers The Night Gardener children's book
“The Night Gardener” by The fan Brothers

Reading with toddlers is an experience! Children are curious, distracted, and the cutest little people around! Well, if you can have them pay attention for a few minutes at a time, then reading with toddlers can be a fun time.

Image of Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
“Good Night Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

This article provides you with a series of children’s books to introduce a meaningful and an important activity into children’s lives. Reading time is more than just another thing to do on the daily schedule. Make the most of it! I personally know parents like myself who have rediscovered their love of a story from their childhood.

Image of Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
“Peter’s Chair” by Ezra Jack Keats

I began reading with my son when he was a baby.  During my pregnancy, I would read to him in utero and I was certain he was listening. When he became a toddler, he certainly had his favorite books. He’d pick and I’d have to read more than once and sometimes more than twice. Once books are introduced to your children, they will eventually have favorites. This is perfectly normal.

Here are some guidelines for reading with toddlers:
1) If you are a new parent and don’t know where to start, begin with the classics that maybe you grew up with. Ask around or search online bookstores for recommendations.

Image of Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
“Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes


Image of Sugar Plum Fairies by Whoopi Goldberg
“Sugar Plum Fairies” by Whoopi Goldberg

Schedule reading at convenient times during the day. If possible, set a specific time for reading activities. A toddler ready for a nap might not be as attentive – they can be read to but don’t expect them to be fully present. If toddlers are hungry or irritable, your timing might be off. Make sure they are comfortable and truly ready for reading time.

3) Make reading time fun! Interactive story-telling and character voices allow children to actually enjoy books. Get into character, make sound effects, use physical comedy to narrate stories. Children enjoy this immensely!

4) Reading introduces new vocabulary words to toddlers. Make sure to point out new words and have them repeat and show (if possible).

5) Read as often as possible. This is a great way of creating good reading habits. Spending quality time is important for a child and reading is a great way of preparing children for school.

6) Go with the flow! It’s okay if you don’t get through the whole book. Let’s just say toddlers are not studying for the SATs, their world is all about discovery. Never force a child to sit for reading time if they aren’t naturally interested. Keep it short and fun! Enjoy reading time with toddlers! 🙂

Image of The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
“The Book With No Pictures” by B.J. Novak