*Be sure to check out our “Storytime with The Warren Center” video series at the end of this article.*
Reading to Toddlers
Tips for reading with young children:
- Give your child options (do you want to read Brown bear or Goodnight Moon)
- You don’t have to read the words on each page, try labeling items on the page, and pairing with a fun sound (i.e., cow…The cow says moo, car… The car goes vroom, bus…The bus goes beep beep, sun… The sun is HOT!).
- Let your child be an active part of reading and work on following directions by telling them to open the book, turn the page, and close the book.
- Give characters different voices when reading and use fun sounds to continue to engage them
- Repetitive reading is crucial for learning so read the same book all week and pair with fun themed activities like:
- Eating items found in hungry caterpillar book,
- Go on a “Scavenger hunt” to find items from the book
- Draw pictures of characters from the book for your child to color
- Find familiar toys that are in the book to associate with pictures
- After you have read the book a few different times, read a familiar line and pause for 3 seconds to wait and give your child a turn to fill in the pause (brown bear brown bear what do you…….see; I see a red bird looking at……me). Give visual cues by pointing to your eyes or patting your chest to help your child learn the word.
- Pick an object or animal that occurs on multiple pages in a book to point to on each page to expose your child to repetitive language and after they have seen you point to it a few times, let them have a turn (help them out if they don’t point to it by taking their hand and helping them touch or point to the item named)
If your child does not typically like to read:
Reading does not have to be a sitting activity. You can stand up and pair big actions, dance moves, or songs with items on the page
Find toys that are similar to animals/items in the book for your child to hold while you are reading and help them associate between objects and symbolic pictures
If your child needs lots of movement before sitting to read, use a fun gross motor activity before reading books such as going on a walk, playing chase, dancing to a familiar song, jumping up and down, or swinging.
written by Chandler Petty, Speech-Language Pathologist – The Warren Center
Storytime with The Warren Center
Welcome to our Storytime with The Warren Center video series. In this series, parents will discover ways to interact effectively with their children during storytime, plus you’ll find stories you can play for your children read by the therapists at The Warren Center.