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How to Introduce Books to Toddlers

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Old 04-03-2020, 08:25 AM
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Default How to Introduce Books to Toddlers

Books are an exciting and engaging way for toddlers to develop literacy s****s and explore their own imaginations. While it may be daunting to take that first step with your young one, you may find it easier than you expect to start reading with your child on a regular basis. Set aside a little time each day to introduce books to your toddler—you may be pleasantly surprised at how much they learn and grow from the experience!


[Edit]Creating a Reading Routine
  1. Pick a few times each day to read with your child. Think about your daily schedule and consider when you and your toddler have the most free time. Depending on your plans for the day, you might want to set aside some before bed or nap time, when your child is more likely to be relaxed and willing to listen.[1] You could also read your child a story before dropping them off at daycare or preschool.[2]
    • Above all, story time should be a time for you to bond and grow closer with your toddler.
  2. Dedicate about 5-10 minutes to reading so your toddler isn’t bored. Cater to your child’s attention span, which is very short. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get through an entire story—instead, go page by page. If you can tell that your toddler is no longer interested in the book, you can set it aside for later.[3]
    • Since toddlers get bored easily, it helps to have story time multiple times each day.
  3. Choose short, engaging books that are filled with pictures. Look for sturdy picture books designed with flaps and fun materials. Think about some things your toddler likes a lot, and pick out books that cater to their interests. The more interested your child is, the more invested they’ll be in reading with you![4]
    • Purchase a few board books, which can put up with a toddler’s wear and tear.
    • Your child will be really interested in books with sliding pages or liftable flaps.
  4. Opt for books with fun textures and materials. Look for stories with flaps, sliding pages, soft materials, and other interactive features. Encourage your child to open the flaps and interact with the pages as much as possible. If the book has textured surfaces, invite your child to touch and explore the story.[5]
    • Cloth books are a great option for this! If you’re on-the-go, like in a grocery store, you can tie these books to the shopping cart for easy reading.[6]
    • Paper pages are more prone to ripping, and might not be a great option for your child.
  5. Invite your child to pick the book that you’ll read together. Dedicate a basket or other container to your toddler’s books. Keep the books at ground level, so your child can peruse through them. When story time comes around, ask the toddler to pick a book for you both to read.[7]
    • Your child will feel more involved and engaged if they get to pick out the story.
  6. Encourage your child to be comfortable during story time. Don’t force your toddler to sit through the entire story. If they’d prefer to run or prance around, let them go free! Continue reading the story as you usually do, and trust that your child is listening.[8]
    • Some children learn and engage better when they’re being active. It doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in reading or spending time with you, though.
  7. Bring books with you when you go out and about. Plan ahead before grocery trips and doctor’s appointments, choosing books to read later on. When you‘re standing in the check-out line or waiting for the doctor to see you, pull out a book and start reading. You may also want to keep a few books stashed in the car, just in case.[9]
    • This can help prevent your child from feeling bored.
  8. Reread your child’s favorites if they request it. Don’t discourage your children from reading the same books. Instead, use the repetition as an opportunity for the child to memorize certain portions of the book, which can make story time more engaging in the future.[10]
    • If your toddler becomes familiar enough with a story, you can encourage them to read the book to you!
  9. Visit your local library on a regular basis. Find the children or toddler’s section of the building, where there will likely be a lot of board games, puzzles, and other fun activities. Remind your toddler to use an “inside” voice whenever you’re at the library, and supervise them to ensure that they don’t rip or damage any books.[11]
    • Since a library might be a little overwhelming to your child, take some time to show them a bookcase in your own home. Explain that a library has many bookcases, and many books to choose from.
    • Some libraries may host a story time for young children. If your library does this, consider registering with your toddler!
[Edit]Involving Your Toddler
  1. Show the cover illustration to your toddler. Once you and your child are situated, hold up the book so the toddler can look at the story. Ask them to describe what’s on the cover, and see if they can predict what the story will discuss.[12]
    • If you’re reading with a younger child, like a 2-year old, they may only be able to give simple answers.
  2. Switch out the main character’s name with your child’s. Scan over the first few lines of the story to see who the main character is. To keep your child extra engaged, switch out the character’s name or pronoun with your child’s name. Continue replacing the name throughout the story, and encourage your child to play along![13]
    • For instance, if the story says something like “A girl went to the park with her dog,” you could switch it out with “Josie went to the park with her dog.”
  3. Encourage your child to look at and discuss the pictures. As you go through the story, take some time to “read,” or describe, the pictures to your child. If your child is feeling creative and independent, invite them to “describe” the pictures on each page.[14]
    • For instance, you can point at a picture and say something like: “The dog is running through a mud puddle.”
  4. Point to the words so your toddler can follow along. Hold the book wide open as you read so your child can see all the words and pictures. As you read, drag a finger along each sentence. Go slowly, so your toddler can begin understanding which words are which.[15]
    • If your child is older, you can encourage them to point at the words as you read.
  5. Invite your child to turn the pages of the book. As you go through the story, let your toddler know when it’s time to turn the page. If your child is unsure of what to do, show them how to flip the page before letting them try on their own.[16]
    • Even if they’re not reading aloud, turning the pages will give the toddler an active role in the story.
  6. Ask your child questions to keep them engaged. Think of simple, fun questions that connect to the words and pictures in the story. Listen to what your child says in response, and try to have a mini conversation with them. As you read, keep an ear open for any questions your child might have about the story.[17]
    • Curiosity is a great quality for kids to have. Try to encourage your kids to ask questions!
[Edit]Making Books Fun
  1. Use funny voices to make the story more engaging. Think creatively as you go through the story, and come up with funny, over-the-top voices that will make your child laugh. Try different imitations, like a gruff, raspy voice or a high-pitched voice, to keep your toddler as interested as possible.[18]
    • Funny voices can help make the story come alive to your toddler.
    • Try to make each character’s voice distinct so your child can tell the difference.
  2. Make parallels between the toddler and the story. Look for connections in your child’s life and the plot of the story. Mention any places or objects that your toddler can relate to, like a school, a house, or a toy. Use these connections to ask your child fun, engaging questions throughout the story.[19]
    • For instance, if the story mentions a dog or cat, remind the child of any pets that they have.
    • You could say something like: “Look! Here’s a school. Do you go to school?”
  3. Invite your child to narrate the book. If your child is old enough, see if they’re comfortable enough to repeat or read the story on their own. Don’t be discouraged if your toddler isn’t interested in this—it might take awhile before they’re interested in actively reading the book on their own.[20]
    • Many toddlers tend to memorize books, which allows them to lead story time.
  4. Keep your toddler interested with rhymes and chants. Look for books that include a lot of easy rhyming words. Once you’ve read through a rhyme, encourage your toddler to follow along and repeat after you.[21]
    • For instance, a sentence like “The fox was in the box” could be a fun speaking exercise for your child.
  5. Create new stories with your child to expand their imagination. Set the books aside and invite your toddler to explore their own interests. Use these interests to craft your own stories, and encourage your child to add in their own ideas.[22]
    • For instance, if you and your child read a story about race cars, you could create your own nonsensical story about racing dinosaurs.
  6. Give your child crayons and paper so they can practice writing words. Encourage your toddler to write some of the words from their favorite story. Don’t worry if they don’t spell all the words right—just provide reassurance and praise as they have fun writing with crayons.[23]
  7. Sing fun songs about the pictures in different books. Come up with a nonsensical tune or ditty that your child can sing along with. Make your song super simple and include basic pictures and words that you’ve discussed in the story so far. After creating a fun song, encourage your child to sing along with you![24]
    • Clapping is another great way to get toddlers engaged and involved. If you start singing a song, encourage your toddler to clap along.
  • Always speak slowly when you’re reading to your child. If you go too fast, the toddler won’t understand or follow along with what you’re saying.[25]
  1. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  2. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  3. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  4. ? https://www.readingrockets.org/artic...rents-toddlers
  5. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  6. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  7. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  8. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  9. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  10. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  11. ? https://www.whattoexpect.com/toddler...e-library.aspx
  12. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  13. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  14. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  15. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  16. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  17. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  18. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  19. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  20. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  21. ? https://www.readingrockets.org/artic...rents-toddlers
  22. ? https://www.zerotothree.org/resource...abies-to-books
  23. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  24. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html
  25. ? https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/reading-toddler.html


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