In today’s world, early childhood development has gained momentum. More so because we as parents and teachers are aware of the development that takes place at an early age. At the same time, today there exists a plethora of teaching aids, methodologies, philosophies and patterns around what to teach and what not to teach a young child. Infact there have been arguments whether or not to introduce books to a young child. In my opinion, reading a book is like taking a new journey. So even though I say the kids must experience the world first hand, reading books is only going to help them explore the world of imagination.
Reading To Toddlers
The best time to introduce books to babies is infancy. Reading to them is the best way of familiarising them with the idea of holding a book and diving into a world of fantasy. As they grow into toddlers they are now able to hold the book just like you did and are ready to take the lead.
At the age of two a book helps a child get familiar with words, their sounds, print, language and the joy of reading. However, I’d say what a book can teach is not limited to that. I have been using books to teach everything from table manners to moral values from numbers to counting, from concepts to ideas, possibly everything under the sun and over it.
Sharing Books With Your Toddler
At this age the focus of reading with a child should be to have fun with books instead of learning letters or memorising rhymes. The best way to read is to emphasise on whole words and phonics instead of the alphabet. Here are some tips to make the most of the reading time your toddler :
– Embrace reading as a precious time spent together bonding with your child
– Help Your Child Choose a book and allow him to hold it and turn the pages.
– Talk to your toddler in a descriptive manner about what they see and build a story around it.
– Begin with picture books with just one sentence on a page.
– Point to words as you read them
– Choose books from different genres and introduce one new book at a time.
– After a child is familiar with that book you can add it to his mini library
Few tips for reading to young children
– Make a routine – the routine may include a fixed time and/or a specific place for reading. My son and I spend about thirty minutes reading a book of his choice every evening, with him lying down in my arms.
– Make it fun – it is extremely important that you and your child must have fun reading. There could be days when your child does not want to read at all. But that is OK. Enforcing or pushing your child into reading a book is going to rob the beauty and the joy of the activity.
– Set the right ambience – Make sure the place is quiet, well lit and comfortable when you read to your child. Turn the television or any other source of noise off.
– Involve your child – and it will surprise you how many variations a child can add to one story. Let them discover the story teller in them. Begin with asking them about what they see and let them interpret it how they want.
– choose age appropriate books – If you have been reading board books, you can now introduce paper books. However, my son loves choosing his own books at the book store. Bathtub books, pop up books, peek a boo books are a guaranteed favourite with toddlers.
What To Read To A Toddler
WIth umpteen books available in the market and on various e commerce portals, it can be vexing where to start from.
Like I mentioned earlier, my son likes choosing his own books and introduce books to him with intentions.
Broadly books with large bright pictures, good rhyme, rhythm and repitition become his favourites .
Here a few kind of books that my son and I love To Read together
- book with animals and their sounds
- touch and feel books – different textures and colours still manage to excite him
- books with nursery rhymes
- books with play time and experience that toddlers can relate with
- books with short moral stories
- books with their favourite topics like pets, fairies, planets, stars, nature, oceans, sea creatures, castles and what not!
- thematic series – we have a series of books where a little girl called Naisha visits the market, toy store, hotel, park and a lot of other places. These are a great way of re living the experience of having been to that place earlier.
- Lift the flap books
- pop up books
Why not visit your local library?