Bright flashing lights, flat screens and loud noises in the toys and technology today can often trump the tranquil pages of a book. So how do we get our toddlers to seek out those books instead of heading straight for the allure of the more stimulating toys?
Do you know that reading out loud to your child can help develop their early language skills and give them a strong foundation for school? There are many literacy agencies out there today doing wonderful things for our youth (Reach Out and Read), but you can start at home with some simple things.
Here are three easy ways to try and entice your toddlers:
1. Make Story Time Fun: Story time can be enhanced by using funny voices and props (such as the tickle monster gloves we were recently given). But if you are running out of ideas, find a local story time at your library or other community centers in the area. We just discovered a story time at a local botanical Garden in the area (Phipps Conservatory), and the boys loved to get out and they enjoyed the new stories.
2. Enroll in your local library: We enrolled the twins today. The boys were so excited to have their own card. It was funny how they then tried to insert it into the computer to get it to work. Not quite how it works, but they had fun with the books, train table and coloring at the library. Just being around the books in a fun environment makes books and reading more positive to kids.
3. Get the kids involved in the story: Be an active reader, ask questions, and let the kids point out things they recognize. Our favorite book at the moment is a Backyardigans hide and seek book where the kids need to help the character Uniqua find Pablo. This way the kids are actively involved in the story, instead of just listening.
Not only is this bonding time wonderful for the parent and kid relationship but it can also entice your little one to pick that book over the flashing light technology.