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How to Read with a Toddler

Reading is so important to do throughout your whole life. Not only does it open doors to new worlds but it also helps us learn new things and make discoveries we may not otherwise have done. Fundamental reading skills start at a very young age. Parents are encouraged to read to babies and toddlers even before you think they can comprehend words or follow a plot. As part of our recent series of blogs about reading leading up to World Book Day, we talk more about how to get your toddler involved.

Why you should read with your toddler

We often have books for our toddlers, but they aren’t always utilized in the best way as they can often be thrown in with the toys. Many believe that trying to read a book to a toddler is pointless because they think they will not understand or even sit still long enough to read it. We’re here to tell you that’s okay and expected, but it is still incredibly important to try to do as it helps in your child’s development.

It’s this stage in your child’s life that they are developing their vocabulary, and quite quickly too. They are picking up on words and sounds, and by reading to them regularly, they will also pick up a love for books.

Reading stories also encourages imagination. While they may not be at a stage to fully follow the plot, the words (and how you say them) and vibrant pictures will stimulate their minds. Finally, you should read with your toddler because it’s a good chance to unwind and spend some real quality time with them.

How to read with a toddler

Right now, it is important to promote the fun element in books. You should never force a child to sit down and turn a page one at a time as this won’t be fun for them and more of a chore than anything. As a start, get your child to choose a book. You may need to help, and it could take a few minutes before he or she decides which one looks the best (as they are literally judging a book by its cover at this point!)

If it’s a story you have read many times before, they may be able to finish sentences. If it’s a new book, point out to the illustrations and have them tell you what it is. If it’s an animal, what sound does it make? What color is the object on the page? Make reading into an interactive activity.

Another great idea is to have a special reading place that is full of books in a small child-friendly bookshelf or box just for books. Have your child choose a book a day to read in your reading area together. This may mean the same book day after day, but that’s okay. Let them choose it if it’s one they love. The repetition is also good for them.

While reading should be included in your daily routine, there may be some days your child is just not interested. Again, do not force them to sit down and read. There may be some days where the opposite happens, and they want to read more than one. Make sure your reading time is free of distraction, which means no TV or radio, so your child is focused on you. The book area should be full of books and not too many toys. Stuffed animals are great though as a little buddy to read with. They may want to “read” the story to their stuffed animal friend too!

The best books to choose

There are a whole lot of books out there, but the best ones for toddlers have a good rhyme to them and are the perfect length that keeps them interested. Books with animals with buttons for animal noises are great. If you can’t find one that makes noise, then ask your child to make the sound of that animal. Books that pop-up or allow you to pull a tab or lift a flap to reveal something are also fun.

Get books that appeal to their interests. Pirates, princesses, animals, and trucks are just a few examples of topics toddlers love where there is an abundance of books to choose from.

At Petite Beauty Kids, we’re getting ready to celebrate World Book Day and all the well-loved stories out there. We want to hear what your children’s favorites are, so leave a comment or follow us on social media to tell us! We’ll add the popular ones to our World Book Day blog.


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