Toddlers are a responsive lot: even if they don’t understand what is being said or read, they are perfectly capable of making signs and sounds that imitate their interlocutors. This indicates the beginning of a new curiosity and counts as a first step towards your child’s future literacy.
Reading to and with your toddlers can be a connecting experience, arousing interest and powers of recognition you will be surprised exist at such an age. Here are some surprising responses you can look out for as you read out to your children:
- Their eyes open to hold your gaze and attention.
- They smile and respond to facial gestures and expressions.
- They like to hold the book while you read.
- They demand that adults read to them.
- They produce some preliminary letters or scribbles to mimic writing.
Here are a few simple things you can do to benefit your children by reading:
- Remember to read aloud in a clear and soft voice to your toddlers.
- Use picture books and point to pictures inside to hold their attention.
- Often use expressions of surprise and emotion as you read.
- Recite nursery rhymes and move about as you sing—kids find this very entertaining.
- Start linking pictures and stories to the real world outside.
- Teach them to master certain rhymes.
- Build their vocabularies with new words and expressions.
- Set aside reading time as a ‘special’ part of your toddlers’ day—something they might look forward to.
Illustrated Mother Goose Rhymes
Hop on Pop
Go Dog Go
Greeen Eggs and Ham