Reading to young children helps to build language skills and helps to build a wonderful bond between parent and child. Reading to your child it helps to develop important language, and social skills. In addition, research has shown that children who are read to at home (starting at an early age) become better readers as they enter school. The benefits of reading to kids starting at a young age are numerous and cannot be ignored.
Toddlers are a curious age level that may be difficult to predict at times. However, spending quality time with your toddler by reading to them helps to ease stress and makes relationships stronger. One way to do this is to by reading to them. Here are some tips to make your reading experience more enjoyable and beneficial for your toddler.
Tips for Reading to Toddlers
Minimize distractions. Turn off the television, put away the toys and cozy up together in a favorite chair. Decide prior to sitting down what you will read. If child is old enough let he or she choose a book.
Choose simple and short Books. Keep your book selections simple, short, and relatable to the age level. Often engaging them with an area of interest such as animals or cars will help to hold interest.
Picture Preview. Preview the pictures with your toddler prior to reading them the book. Start with the cover of the book and talk about the pictures in the book. This is particularly important with younger children with shorter attention spans. Gradually as you get them interested in the pictures start to add in some of the story text.
Engage in Conversation. Use books to engage toddlers in conversation, talk about the characters, and what is happening in each part of the story.
Expect Repeated Readings. It is likely that if a toddler likes a particular book he or she will want to read it again and again. You will find that eventually as your toddler becomes more and more fluent with language he or she can tell you the story.
Mix it up. While your child may have his or her favorite books try to add some new ones once in a while to make story time more fun and interesting.
Reading to Multiple Age Levels. I have a 15 month old daughter who has just started becoming more interested in reading books, but right now she likes the pictures. I tend to choose shorter board books for her, while my son can sit and listen to a much longer book. A strategy I find that works for reading to children of different ages is to choose a much shorter board type book first to everyone, then put the youngest to bed and finish by reading a longer story to the older child ( or children).
Regular story time gives both parents and kids time to unwind and relax from a busy day and spend quality time together before settling down for the night. I’m specifically talking about bedtime stories, but reading is a great way to unwind at any time of the day. Reading to your toddler can be both a fun and rewarding experience for both of you. It is a wonderful way to spend with your child while teaching important pre-reading skills. This is a fun and relaxing activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. You will be glad you did!!!