Reading is important.
We all know that, at any age. Starting young is vital for a number of reasons: language development, imagination, visual stimulation and as well as bonding. Reading with toddlers is a great way to teach and enjoy time together, all while making it fun for them.
Read the actual words through.
When reading with toddlers, make sure you actually read (even if they can’t do so). It’s good to get in the habit of reading all the words while they listen or look at the book, over time they learn to recognize the words, or know what’s coming. Them paying attention to the story allows for them to learn to pay attention as well.
Connect pictures with the story.
Do point out pictures, and have them tell you what is happening. Their imagination is fantastic and soon they will be able to connect what your words are telling them in the actual pictures in the book (vs. just always making their own story up).
Make this a daily routine.
Read daily. It’s important to make this a routine to really get them to love it. Have it be a pre-bedtime to do, do it cuddled up in your favourite chair after lunch, or as a part of your morning routine. Whatever works best for you, do it together and do it daily to really nurture this skill.
Encourage them to pick books too.
Have them choose the books. Ask them to pick out the book they want to read today, and it is plenty OK to re-read the same book over and over. Experts recommend reading 1000 books before kindergarten. It may sound like a lot, but if you repeat books, read one daily since they are babies, you will reach 1000 in 3 years, so by the time they are 5 they will likely surpass this amount.
We rounded up some awesome books that we found toddlers love. These books are classics, or some newer, but all peak interest for these young minds.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
There are a lot of books to add to this list, but these are some you just can’t go wrong with. So have fun reading with your toddlers, whether it’s from this list or not.
*Images courtesy of Shutterstock.com