Toddlers are on the move! They enjoy hearing, moving to and touching books and many are still developing the patience for hearing a full story. There are many ways you can enjoy a book with your toddler. Choose short books, especially those with lots of rhythm and rhyme.
Try adapting the story to match your toddler’s interest and attention span, reading fewer words on the page, just describing what you see, or allowing your toddler to simply look at the pictures and turn the page. You can substitute familiar names for the book’s characters or just read the passages they particularly love that hold their interest. Take a picture walk describing what you see on the page. Encourage your toddler to help.
Toddlers love to move, bounce, jump, clap and engage physically, so read with bouncy expression and have fun sharing nursery rhymes, poems, chants and songs. Because toddlers learn by playing, seeing and touching, sturdy interactive books with flaps and textures offer special fun at this age.
Developing a repertoire of ways you can adapt books for your toddler ensures they will get the value of hearing many many stories. Children who hear many stories have bigger vocabularies and tend to do better academically than those that are not read to regularly. Reading together makes your toddler feel special, demonstrates the value you place on books and reading, and can be a comforting and richly rewarding part of your daily routine. Even with the bounciest of toddlers.