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Raising a Reader From Toddlerhood

Updated on July 16, 2016

The Benefits of Reading To Your Toddler

Studies have shown that reading to young children can increase their vocabulary and sets the foundation for independent reading interests in the future.

Reading to your young child can help increase their interest in reading, but it also exposes your child to social and language interactions by giving them more ways to practice these skills. In teaching your child to love reading at a young age, you foster the idea of imagination, creativity, and independence.

Another way to use reading to help develop your toddler is to help them transition from babyhood to toddler hood. There are books out there for all sorts of challenges and lessons that toddlers may be facing during that time. It is great to allow your child to hear stories of other children, imaginary or not, that have gone through and triumphed through the same challenges they may be facing.

They may not be able to voice their challenges at a younger toddler age, but as they become more familiar with their vocabulary, fostered by bring exposed to reading, they can articulate and make connections between the worlds and characters in their storybooks and their real life experiences.

What Books To Consider For Toddlers

According to there are certain books that will help in your endeavor to foster reading for your toddler at an early age. (Recommended for children 12-24 months old)

  1. Board Books - they are sturdy and easy to withstand a toddler abuse.
  2. Picture Books - the fewer words the better in some cases, you can make up words for the pictures to foster a sense of creativity and imagination.
  3. Books about everyday activities - these books would include everyday things that kids do. Such as bath time, bedtime, and mealtime.
  4. Texture books - These books will help stimulate your toddler's senses of touch. At this age, children are ready to explore with their sense of touch. A book with textures is sure to delight.
  5. Flaps and Surprises - Books with flaps and surprise pockets are great for keeping little hands busy. Toddlers are busy all the time, they need something to stimulate and keep their interest. Let them explore with these intriguing additions to books.

Top Ten Books For Toddlers

  1. The ABC Book by Dr. Seuss - This book comes in full size and board book. We chose the board book for our little one. The sing song rhymes have done wonders to keep her attention. It is also a great vocabulary booster, as she has learned what words go with which sounds of the alphabet.
  2. The Family Book By Todd Parr - We haven't actually read this book yet, but it's on my list of books to get. It's the familiar board book that is great for toddlers and it is also very colorful with striking pictures. The synopsis says that it showcases all sorts of families; from step families, same sex families, to one parent families and traditional families. It's sure to be a great book for those of us out there wanting to teach our kids about the different family dynamics.
  3. Goodnight Moon By Margaret Wise Brown - I read this book to my daughter from the time she came home until she was much older. It was an easy book with easy words. Now that she's a year and a half, the book is great for pointing out familiar things with the pictures being the main focus.
  4. The Going To Bed Book By Sandra Boynton - I especially enjoy this book for a bedtime book. It is a great and gentle way to 'rock' your baby to sleep with words. The lull of the words and the scenario of realistic things that are done before bed really puts in perspective a great relation to reality. This book shows your toddler that others do the same thing they do before bed. Brushing teeth, putting on pajamas, etc.
  5. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff - This was one of my favorites as a kid and it is becoming one of our family favorites. My daughter loves to giggle when the mouse makes cookie crumbs on his mouth or wants an extra straw. It's a great thing to add activities with during the afternoon or a rainy day.
  6. The Monster At The End Of This Book - This book will be more fun when my daughter is ready to turn the pages on her own. Right now, we are really just having fun making the distress noises and tickling at certain parts of the book and making giggles at bedtime. I am sure though, the more that we read this book, the concept of 'monsters' will take on a different connotation for her and that's a great goal.
  7. Your Own Big Bed By Rita Bergstein - We don't have this book in our library of books yet either, but browsing through the toddler books in the book store, I have a feeling this is something we will be needing soon. Another great book to show your toddler that getting a new big kid bed is normal and fun! Sign me up for that.
  8. Touch and Feel Zoo By Dwell Studio Touch and Feel - This book is one with touch and feel aspects that allow your toddler to explore the animals of the zoo through their sense of touch. This would be a great book to teach animal sounds and all them to feel the animals as well.
  9. Where Is Baby's Belly Button? By Karen Katz - We haven't read this book and at this point, our daughter knows where her button is. It is also very adorable when she pulls her shirt up and pokes her belly button. I would urge everyone who has a toddler who wants to teach them belly button to get this book and read it. Would be super adorable to add to the collection!
  10. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler - This book is just like the song. You can sing it, you can read it. The pictures show the babies touching their body parts and teaches your toddler to touch their own body parts as well. Great little book for learning parts of the body and the song just adds to the fun.

Do You Read To Your Toddler?

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    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 4 years ago from KC, MO

      @Lee B - I'm glad this hub resonated with you. Thanks for reading and for the wonderful comments.

    • Lee B profile image

      Lee Barton 4 years ago from New Mexico

      Great suggestions! As a former middle school language arts teacher, I believe that fostering a love of reading is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children. Reading is part of almost everything a child needs to be a successful learner.

    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 4 years ago from KC, MO

      @pstraubie48 - Glad you found this hub helpful. It's a great joy to know that someone else enjoys reading to their toddler family!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      It is true. Reading to toddlers creates lifelong readers for sure. Some of my fondest memories are of being held on Momma's lap and listening to a story and that was before my toddler years. With my daughter and grandsons we read to them and sang to them and played music for them while still in the womb. We have read to them since a few days old.

      There is something so wondrous about the rhythm and cadence and sweetness of a voice as a story is read.

      It makes my heart sing as my grandson who is 3 reads his books. He does so at least once a day and his Momma reads to him each evening. Thanks for sharing Angels are on the way. ps

    • rgarnett profile image

      Rachael Fields 4 years ago from KC, MO

      @Rachel Horon - I just can't wait for that! I'm excited for that time.

    • Rachel Horon profile image

      Rachel Horon 4 years ago from Indiana

      A nice list of books. As your child gets older like my youngest, she will enjoy "reading" the books back to you and it will warm your heart.