This week, school teacher and mummy Paula from Montessori Playing shares three easy ways to read with your toddler.
Reading is so fundamentally important to the developing toddler brain. Before they can recognise a letter or word, children fall in love with the sound of language and stories that expand their imagination, lexicon and understanding of the world around them. Although this might seem odd, there are many different ways to read a book and encourage your toddler to engage in the process. Here are some of my favourites:
Cover to Cover
This is the most standard way to read to your child; reading the text as it appears and following the story from start to finish. When I started reading to Stella, I was surprised at the plot complexity in books aimed at young children. I tend to avoid these stories, for now, and stick to very simple tales. Whilst reading, I make sure that I pause regularly to discuss the pictures and ask simple questions. This helps Stella to feel like an active participant in the reading process rather than playing a passive role.
- “Wow Stella, look at the bird flying high. What’s it doing?”
- “What colour is the bird?”
- “What’s in the sky?”
‘Read’ the Pictures
When Stella was younger, or when faced with a story with a complicated plot, I’d often do this. Rather than read the words, I would instead point and name all the objects visible on each page. This is really beneficial in expanding your toddler’s vocabulary in a very visual way and building their confidence when it comes to speech.
- “Oh look, a ginger cat!”
- “A tall giant!”
- “A boat on the deep blue sea”
Point and Name
Now that Stella has a very developed toddler vocabulary, I point at pictures in books and ask her to name simple objects herself. She has seen me model this activity time and time again whilst “Reading pictures” with her, so she responds well to my prompts and loves being praised for correctly naming objects.
- “What’s that? It’s a…”
I hope you have enjoyed these simple tips and alternative ways to read with your toddler, please let me know if you try any of them out or if you have any ideas you’d like to share with me!
Learning with The Bear Can Read
I recently applied some of these strategies with the book that arrived in this month’s “The Bear Can Read” subscription box. The story is called, “All Kinds of Kindness” and it contains a beautiful theme about showing love to the world around us. Stella was able to tell me that the characters were “best friends” and that they were “hugging”. These discussions really promote emotional intelligence in young children and I have found myself relating back to the story several times and encouraging Stella to “be kind”.
Paula receives a Cubs box for her little one which comes with a beautiful picture book and hands-on activities delivered monthly to her doorstep. Not sure which level is right for your child? Take a look at our Bear Clubs.
Follow Paula on instagram for inspirational quotes and sneak peeks of her life as a mum and teacher.