Reading to your toddler has endless benefits but it isn’t always a simple task to accomplish when your little one would rather play than stay!
Nubabi speech and language therapist, Carianne Vermeulen gives advice on how to read to your toddler and tips on how to keep your busy tot down long enough to enjoy a good story.
Toddlers are little word processors and this is the age when their vocabularies blossom.
The developing brain of a one to two year old is ready to hang on to every word and sponge up every syllable. Reading reinforces the understanding of new words and the contexts in which they are used. For instance, the colours of the rainbow to what a rainbow is. Reading also introduces them to words that they may not encounter in their daily lives — like a zebra.
Books are an ideal way to help your toddler develop various skills.
Reading to your little one incorporates listening skills, memory skills (ask questions about the story), cognitive and creative skills (they can help to find solutions for problems in the story or create new endings), vocabulary (talk about new concepts or words in the book), descriptive language (talk about what is happening in each of the pictures) and storytelling (they can retell the story to you using the pictures). It also supports a toddler’s emergent literacy skills – i.e. your child’s knowledge of reading and writing skills before he/she learn how to read and write words.
So go ahead, do up the drama whenever you are reading to your eager audience of one. Not only will they love listening to you, they’ll also pick up new ways to use all those newly learnt words!
If your toddler is loving his/her ever improving mobility and does not want to sit on your lap to read, here are some tips to keep a busy toddler down long enough to enjoy a good story:
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