Tips for reading with toddlers

by | Aug 9, 2023

Happy Book Lovers Day! It’s no secret that children benefit greatly when adults read to them. The positive interaction builds neural connections in their developing brains, reinforces basic speech skills and boosts self-esteem by making them feel secure and cared for. We invite you to find a good book and read to the special kids in your life!

Whether you are reading Mother Goose or Dr. Seuss, here are some tips to remember:

Don’t wait
Studies show that reading may have a greater impact at ages 2 and 3, rather than 4 and 5.

Make it a routine
It could be at breakfast or bedtime or whenever it works best, but be sure to spend special reading time with your child every day.

Involve your child
Keep books on a shelf where they can reach them. Pick out books together. Read books about topics that interest your child. Encourage them to help turn the pages of the book.

Ask questions
Reading is particularly enriching for a child when you ask questions about the book. For younger kids, questions like “Can you find the red ball?” build vocabulary and understanding. Open-ended questions about the book with older kids allow you to discuss your child’s experiences as they relate to the book. Allow them to interrupt the story and ask questions.

Visit a library
Ask a librarian for books appropriate for your child’s age. Participate in activities—many libraries have a weekly storytime or sing-along for parents and caregivers and their babies and toddlers.

Don’t stop
Some parents read less to their children when the children reach school age, assuming what takes place in school is enough. Reading in school is important, but additional gains can be made when parents continue reading to their children at home.


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