A simple story with few characters, a definite beginning, gentle action, and a satisfying end.
The characters can be human, animal, or toy but it’s best if they’re identifiable to the reader and the child is able to relate.
Read the story through yourself: is it too long? Too boring? Seem pointless? If you find it boring, don’t feel that you have to read it.
Repetitive catchy phrases to encourage anticipation and participation
Repetition helps build memory and gives toddlers the power to predict what will happen next.
Participating in a story keeps toddlers engaged in the book.
Concept books (E.g. colors, numbers)
Pictures should be clear; photographs are ideal.
Pointing and naming is just for fun – it is not meant to be a reading lesson!
Look for books with good grouping or linking of the items pictured; this helps make more to talk about.
Longer rhymes, poems or songs
Rhyme and rhythm are important for helping toddlers develop their early literacy skills.
Toddlers love to talk and play and they are very busy developing important language skills by age three. Take advantage of this window of opportunity by encouraging your toddler’s word skills through talking, singing, reciting rhymes, playing games, sharing books, and listening to music together.
Let your child “read” a book, which might mean playing with it or showing it to her toys. Like babies, continuing to explore books is a first step to pre-reading.
Getting ready for bed is a wonderful time for conversation – talk about all the things she did during her day, who she saw, and what she will do tomorrow.
Turn daily tasks into meaningful experiences with songs and rhymes. Sing “The Wheels on the Bus” with your child while driving to the store or reciting “Peas Porridge Hot” while cooking dinner.
When reading with your child, ask questions about the story and wait for a response. Nurture her interest in books by reading her favorites again and again; you could even ask her to “read” them to you.
Research shows that if you surround your toddler with enjoyable experiences with books and language, she will be better prepared for kindergarten and reading.
It’s never too early or too late to start sharing books, rhymes, and songs with your toddler!