Three Ways to Encourage the Love of Reading in Toddlers

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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.

Proud owners of our own library cards! See them in their hands?

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.

Fun in the library - surrounded by books

About Twin Mom

34 year old, born in a small steel town in South Africa, now living in a large Steel City in the US. Mother of twins and loving every moment.
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15 Responses to Three Ways to Encourage the Love of Reading in Toddlers

  1. We really enjoyed reading books with repetitive words to our kids when they were little. Two of our favorites were “Go Dog Go” and “Hop on Pop,” both by Seuss of course. They also loved Chicka Chicka Boom Boom… and had fun falling over like the letters. Kudos to you for taking the time to use the library and not just rely on convenient electronics.

    Happy reading!

    • Twin Mom says:

      Chicka chicka boom boom is a book I was given when I found out I was pregnant. This sweet boy I used to counsel gave me a copy. I think the boys would love it now – I read it to them when they were younger but not for a while.

  2. Christianna says:

    Karen’s comment really got me thinking… Elena loves Go Dogs Go. She has my sister read it to repetitively. I’m pretty sure my sister can recite it in her sleep at this point. I’ve recently started trying to add a little something to story time… I’m trying to ensure that I’m getting some Spanish time with my daughter (and her baby brother. But since he’s so little, she’s my main focus right now). Since daddy doesn’t speak Spanish, family time is primarily English. So, I’ve been looking for Spanish translations of Elena’s favorite books. I now own an English and a Spanish version of Go Dogs Go, Brown Bear Brown Bear, and a few others. Now, I can pull out a favorite read it in Spanish and then follow it up with the English version (to try to help her make the language connections). She’s excited to get extra books read to her. And I’m excited to get extra Spanish time with the kids. It takes a little extra time to search out and order the books, but it’s worth the effort to know that I’m cultivating her second language.

    • Twin Mom says:

      You know I should really start teaching the boys Afrikaans too. It would be great if I had someone else to help reinforce it. GO dog Go again…must be a great book! I will have to try find it. Sounds like amazing story times at your house.

  3. Michelle says:

    Great ideas! It’s so important for kids to become interested in reading when they are young. We used to read so often. Now that my kids are older we don’t do it as much and I miss it! I loved it as much, if not more than the kids did. It’s such a great bonding time.

    • Twin Mom says:

      I remember when I was young my mom would read Roald Dahl to us – we were captivated by the stories. Those are good books for kids around 8 or so. But yes keeping the interest is hard with all the other things going on around them.
      My hubby and I are both avid readers so I hope they follow in our footsteps.

  4. Christy says:

    Going to the library is a cheap way to get out of the house if you are a stay at home mom and need ideas to keep your child entertained. See if your library has story time as well.

  5. Those are really cool tips.. I too try to bring my kids to the library very often to listen to the storytelling there and borrow books.

  6. Cody says:

    Great tips! I’ve been meaning to join our local library – there are always such fun activities for the kiddos in addition to the great reading goodness.

  7. OUPA says:

    So happy to see the boys enjoying the library so much. Yes. And it is a cheap day out.

  8. Sista says:

    Well as you know Sista, I use to HATE reading, but that’s just because I am dyslexic. As an adult, it’s Peter that really got me into reading, as I thought it was better to see a film, rather than struggle with all the words on a page. He reads ALL the time, and got annoyed if I wanted to sit in bed and talk, while he was enjoying a book :0)! He really only got me into reading for a little peace and quiet….anything to get the Muller’s to shut up. I’d also say it helps if the book is a subject I enjoy. My family too, have ALWAYS been very supportive of me, (my reading issues) and did make a lot of sacrifices to help me, and for that I will always be grateful and indebted to them. I’m happy to report, that I now read often. Last year I read 10 books, which (ask my sister Leigh) I NEVER did before, perhaps a book every few years. In fact, I think this may be the very FIRST time I have read more than my Sister, who is a book worm, she now has Twins to keep her entertained ;0)

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