Parents Playbook: Top 5 tips for reading with your toddler

This episode of First Things First’s Parents Playbook breaks down the top 5 tips for reading books with your toddler, with expert commentary from State Literacy Director Terri Clark of Read On Arizona.

Sharing books with your toddler is quality time together. It also helps them develop the language skills and vocabulary they’ll need to be a good a reader later on. Children’s books introduce kids to new and unusual words that you might not use in everyday conversation at home. That’s important, because studies show that a toddler’s vocabulary is a strong predictor of their later success in school and in life.

Check out the video for more on these top 5 tips for reading with your toddler:

  1. Have fun. Your goal is to help your child grow to love books and love reading, so cuddle up and keep it fun. There’s no wrong way to read together as long as you’re both enjoying it.
  2. Read together every day. Make reading together part of your everyday routines. Just a few minutes at a time is fine.
  3. Ask questions. Ask your child questions about what’s happening in the story or what’s on the page. Give them a chance to think and respond, and have a little back-and-forth conversation.
  4. Point things out. You’re helping your child’s brain make the connection between what a word looks like in print and what it sounds like when spoken. You can point the pictures and illustrations, too.
  5. Let them choose the books you read with them. Follow their lead and go with it, even if you’ve read that same book a million times.

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About First Things First

Arizonans created First Things First to support the health, development and early education of our state’s youngest children. First Things First partners with Arizona families and communities to help kids have the positive experiences they need to arrive at school ready to succeed. Visit us online to find early childhood programs in your Arizona community.

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