Augustine is growing up so fast and is changing constantly. But one thing that has never changes is his love of reading! He’s become more interested in books and learning new things than ever before, so lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to encourage learning and reading with toddlers! Keep reading for the best tips and tricks I’ve found, plus what seems to be working for our family.
How to Start Encouraging Learning and Reading With Toddlers
There are so many little things parents can do to help their children develop these skills! Reading something every day and providing a variety of ways to read is essential, as well as talking to them about the books they’ve read. Asking them what their favorite part was, what color they liked, etc. can be so beneficial. Simply talking to your child can help with their oral skills and therefore their reading skills! Workbooks, stories, games and cards are so helpful, but the biggest help will be taking an active role and doing what you can to facilitate their learning! On that note, here are some of the best resources and materials I’ve found for encouraging learning and reading with toddlers!
Learnings Materials for Toddlers
A good ABC book can be so helpful in helping your little one learn the alphabet, and therefore learn to read! There are so many options out there it’s hard to choose, and most of them are so fun-filled with great illustrations and games for the kids. Dr Seuss’ ABC Book is a classic that has been one of the most popular ABC books since it came out! A more recent one is LMNO Peas, which has little peas doing various activities, bright colors, and rhymes!
Colors and Shapes
For coloring, Bear Sees Color by Karma Wilson is a super popular resource. It’s great for teaching the basic colors, and kids can try to predict what word comes next with the fun rhymes included! Baby Bear Sees Blue is another great one that also happens to be centered around a bear! This story is about a little bear adventuring with his mom and noticing all the colorful things the world has to offer, it is so cute and clever! For shapes, Big Box of Shapes is a highly recommended one, as it not only introduces the shapes but shows how shapes can be combined to make new things.
Another way to teach your kids the colors and shapes is through flash cards like these Carson Dellosa cards from Amazon! These cards feature 6 shapes and 9 colors, improving shape and color recognition as well as reading readiness! Flash cards can be a more interactive and engaging way to reinforce these skills!
When your child is more familiar with the alphabet and is ready to start reading, a good book is The Adventures of Otto. The Adventures of Otto actually includes six books total, and are the perfect books for kids that are starting to sight-read and decode words, and even won an award for a distinguished book for beginning readers. Anything by Dr. Seuss, or anything that rhymes, is another good route to go because rhymes help the words stick in children’s’ heads.
Tips for Raising a Reader
So much of learning stems around reading and it’s something Augustine has already shown a passion for, so these are some of the tips we’ve been using to try and encourage him to love reading as much as we do!
Make reading a habit. We always read before a nap and before bed, and sometimes we’ll cuddle up and read in bed in the morning too. I’ve read time and time again that making reading a habit is a great first step!
Encourage creativity. If Augustine wants to rename a character or imagine them as a different gender or make any plot changes, we let him. We really want him to have fun with reading and to explore his creative side!
Let him choose his books. I not only let him choose books from his bookshelf at home, but when we head to the library or the book store, I let Augustine pick out a few books to read. He is always so excited to go home and read the ones he chose!
Be a reading role model. I loved this tip when I came across it in my research and it’s something I plan to work on more. Apparently, if your child sees you reading a book for yourself, you’ll serve as a good role model. It makes total sense to me!
SHOP BOOKS & LEARNING TOOLS
Do you have any tips for encouraging learning and reading with toddlers that I should know about? Please share in the comments if you do!