Reading to your toddler

13 Dec 2018

Why is it important to read to your toddler aloud?

Research has shown that reading out loud to children is the single most important thing a parent or educator can do to prepare a child for future academic success. We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children: to reassure, to entertain, to bond; to inform or explain, to arouse curiosity, to inspire. But in reading aloud, we also condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure, create background knowledge, build vocabulary and provide a reading role model.

Reading aloud to your toddler:
• Improves comprehension
• Promotes empathy
• Reduces stress
• Boosts brain development
• Deepens family connections


Tips for Reading to toddlers

Being a toddler is all about action. Encourage continued language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills. The tips below offer some fun ways you can help your child become a happy and confident reader.

Don't expect your toddler to sit still for a book

Toddlers need to move, so don't worry if they act out stories or just skip, romp, or tumble as you read to them. They may be moving, but they are listening.


Recite rhymes, sing songs, and make mistakes!

Pause to let your toddler finish a phrase or chant a refrain. Once your toddler is familiar with the rhyme or pattern, make mistakes on purpose and get caught.


Choose engaging books

Books featuring animals or machines invite movement and making sounds. Books with flaps or different textures to touch keep hands busy. Books with detailed illustrations or recurring items hidden in the pictures are great for exploring and discussing.


Keep reading short, simple, and often

Toddlers frequently have shorter attention spans than babies. Look for text that is short and simple. Read a little bit, several times a day.


Encourage play that involves naming, describing, and communicating

Set up a zoo with all the stuffed animals. Stage a race with the toy cars. Put your toddler in charge and ask lots of questions.


Every day is an adventure when you're a toddler

Choose books about everyday experiences and feelings. Your child will identify with the characters as they dress, eat, visit, nap, and play.


Ask questions

Take time to listen to your toddler's answers. Toddlers have strong opinions and interesting ideas about the world. Encourage your toddler to tell you what he or she thinks. You'll build language skills and learn what makes your toddler tick at the same time.


Play to their favorites

Read favorite stories again and again. Seek out books about things your toddler especially likes — trains, animals, the moon. These books may extend a toddler's attention span and build enthusiasm for reading.


Not having fun?

Try a different story or a different time during the day. Reading with a very young child is primarily about building positive experiences with books, not finishing every book you start.


Book of the month program

We believe that it is never too early to start reading to children and exposing them to quality literature.  By reading with to very young children, you foster a love of books and reading right from the start. 


Our Grow Book of the Month program showcases a specific book to children and families each month.   The books have been chosen not only because they are quality children’s literature and have the ability to adapt to a range of literacy learning contexts.


Your child’s educator will be happy to share with you books that we are currently enjoying at the campus, and guide you with a selection of quality literature for the toddler age groups.  This year we enjoyed:

  • I’m Australian Too by Mem Fox

  • Colour Me by Ezekiel Kwaymullina

  • Too Many Elephants in this House by Ursula Dubosarsky

  • Amy and Louis by Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood

  • Shoes for Grandpa by Mem Fox

  • Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood

  • The Peace Book by Todd Parr

  • My Cat Maisie by Pamela Allen

  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Happy Reading!