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5 Easy Ways to Encourage Your Toddler’s Love of Reading

5 Easy Ways to Encourage Your Toddler’s Love of Reading

From an early age, babies love books. Whether it’s black and white board books or the colorful pictures in a parent’s magazine, very young children are drawn to the tangible pages and inviting images of books almost immediately. This is particularly great news because reading and exploring books with an adult offers major benefits for babies and toddlers, including brain and speech development.

As children grow older, however, and they are exposed to screen-time, playgrounds, and toys that light up when you press buttons, it can become more difficult for parents to encourage their toddlers to love reading time. 

Here are 5 easy ways to help your toddler love reading:

  • Choose Age-Appropriate Books
  • The best chance you have to keep your toddler’s attention during reading time is to pick a book that challenges them slightly but isn’t too complicated. For children ages 1-3, for example, choose a short story book that rhymes, preferably one with simple but colorful images. As your child gets older and his or her speech improves, slowly introduce longer books with more complex plots and characters.

  • Discuss Familiar Items
  • Toddlers are quickly learning that objects have names, and they love to name all of the objects they can see in a book. Take some time to engage with your toddler during reading time by pointing to familiar objects such as flowers, trees, babies, or any animals they may recognize. As their speech improves, you can ask them to find a certain object or to name an animal they see. 

  • Explore Both Repetition and Novelty
  • There are wonderful things about both repetition and novelty when it comes to toddler reading. With repetition, toddlers learn to recognize certain words and phrases and slowly understand them in context. With novelty, of course, they are exposed to new ideas, words, and images which all help to grow their understanding of the world.  To reap the benefits of each, keep a few favorite books in a regular rotation and introduce a new book each week or each month. 

  • Allow Fidgeting
  • Believe it or not, there’s no rule that says that toddlers need to sit perfectly still in order to get the most benefits from reading time. If your toddler needs something to keep his or her hands busy, considering offering a straw cup of milk or water while enjoying your books together. Alternatively, inviting a stuffed animal or lovey that the child can hold while you’re reading can help to calm those active hands. 

  • Create a Cozy Environment
  • As part of your reading routine, whether it’s before bed or after nap time, create a comfortable, cozy spot to enjoy your books. Ideally, this is a place reserved just for books that the toddler looks forward to being in. To make it extra inviting, consider adding fluffy pillows, a small lamp, and a special blanket, such as an ultra-soft Toddler Minky Blanket made with the highest-quality Minky fabric and the most adorable designs for children of all ages.

    Fostering a love for reading at an early age can benefit your toddler for years to come. With the right practices and an enjoyable reading routine, you can encourage your little book worm to explore the literary world in a way that will help him or her to grow, learn, and play each and every day. 

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