Reading to Toddlers

At the ages of one to three, children are eager for exploration and full of energy. Take every wonderful opportunity to blend cuddling and intimacy with learning and fun.

  • At this age it is best to choose books your child likes.
  • Read for at least fifteen minutes every day. Thirty minutes is better. If you can read more than once per day.
  • Talk about the story as you read. If there are things that your child doesn’t understand, explain as you read. Relate the story to people, places and things your child is familiar with.
  • Get others to take turns reading to your child – grandparents, babysitters, aunts, friends – your child needs to see that everybody gets pleasure from reading.
  • Find music to accompany the reading time.
  • Keep books in places where your child can access them. Carry books along when you go to places where you may have to wait or when you travel.
  • As they discover that books provide information as well as entertainment introduce books that expand your child’s understanding of their favorite subjects such as family, animals, colors, letters, vehicles, household objects. Toddlers like to look in your books or magazines to identify objects.
  • This a good time to introduce alphabet books or put magnetic letters on the refrigerator. Set up a blackboard and chalk or white board and markers in your kitchen where you can talk and supervise your child as they write or draw.
  • Toddlers love predictable books that repeat catchy, rhythmic phrases. At this age children and are interested in pictures that are large, clear and directly related to their world. You have probably found that they love to have the same books read over and over.reading-to-toddlers

Suggestion: Do you allow your child to take along a favorite toy when you go out. Have your child select books to take along, as well.

Suggestion: Also, books do not have to be expensive or new to be effective. You can find good books by visiting garage sales and thrift stores.

Suggestion: Create an alphabet book with your child. On sturdy paper (preferably large size) print one letter of the alphabet in a bright color. Your child fills the page with words or pictures of objects that begin with that letter. These items can be drawn, cut or torn from flyers and magazines, and pasted on the page. Your child will not only enjoy this project but gain confidence from learning from its own discoveries and creations.