Sharing books with your toddler is quality time together. It 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.
In this episode of First Things First’s Parents Playbook, we’ll break down the top five tips for reading books with your toddler with expert commentary from Arizona Literacy Director Terri Clark of Read On Arizona.
Watch the video for more information on these top five tips for reading with your toddler:
- 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.
- Read together every day. Make reading together part of your everyday routines. Just a few minutes at a time is fine.
- 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.
- 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 to the pictures and illustrations, too.
- 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
First Things First is Arizona’s early childhood agency, committed to the healthy development and learning of young children from birth to age 5. Learn more about early childhood programs at FirstThingsFirst.org.