Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tips for Developing Literate Toddlers

Yesterday, I shared some Book Chook tips on reading aloud. Today I have some special tips for the parents of toddlers.

Parents of toddlers have wonderful opportunities to develop literate kids. So much of the play we do naturally with babies - finger plays, nursery rhymes, chat, naming things - grows into extended play that we enjoy with our toddlers. But we can also introduce other elements as our little ones develop the ability to listen, observe, learn and become more aware of their surroundings.

  • Surround your child with print. Print means words on flash cards, labels, books for babies and toddlers and all ages, letters, word games, flyers, comics, magnet letters, magazines - you get the picture!
  • Read aloud at least every day. Reading aloud to your child is one of the most important things you can do as a parent. Sharing stories shapes kids futures. It also gives us a time to cuddle with and be close to our children, something that's vital in our busy lives.
  • Let your child see you reading and writing. It’s important to be a model for your child. The great things is, that doesn’t mean eating celery and strutting a cakewalk! It means having your child see you read and write for pleasure and purpose.
  • Make it a family affair. When everyone joins in family reading, it’s more fun and becomes a habit. Take your books on picnics, read to Grandma, make sure Dad gets to share what he’s reading too.
  • Play with words. Sharing the joy of language is such fun. Toddlers love songs and rhymes. Talk to them about everything you see and listen to what they have to say.
(Image credit: crimfants on Flickr)


  1. babylovesbooks28 October, 2010

    Great tips. I've found that reading time is a great way to calm down toddlers and older kids before or around bedtime...chanelling their excitement and energy towards books seems to slow and temper them down in preparation for bedtime. WHen it comes to choice of books, while we can direct them towards certain authors, themes or stories, it's completely ok and important to follow their lead as well - if a child wats the 46th read of a certain board book or picks out an issue of National Geographic or one of your paperbacks - that's perfectly all right too. My daughter often picks out books from my office shelf which have nothing to do with kids or stories...her favorite is a book on vegetarianism. I have no idea why she's drawn to it(maybe the attractive veggies on the cover?!!) but I said to myself - well, if she likes it then I might as well read it to her and we discover the cool things about being vegetarian together!! Odd, but fun! So that's a read aloud tip I would add - pick books that capture your child's attention whether it's one you read everyday or a new, unlikely one.

  2. Great tips, bablylovesbooks - thanks! I love the idea of you two enjoying that vegie book together!

  3. Saara (Ummah Reads)29 October, 2010


    What a great post filled with many great tips! Thanks.

    Just wanted to add that books made out of plastic/rubber are great for'reading' at bath time. And toddlers like cloth books for reading and not to mention chewing ;). With my little one, I always packed a few board books when going on a trip or even a visit to the doctor. All these are ways for toddlers to interact with books which is great for buidling an early bond with books that can last a lifetime.

    Ummah Reads

  4. Saara, I agree. Toddlers and babies are very tactile little people, so allowing for that is important. As you say, that can begin the bond that lasts a lifetime. I think it's so important to begin building that bond - with regular, daily reading, with cuddling and closeness, and fun bath time splashy books too!

    Thanks for your comment!


Related Posts with Thumbnails