Next up, toddlers! During their second year of life, children become more mobile and adventurous. Your child will start to recognize the names of familiar objects and people, begin to form simple sentences, and follow one- and two-step directions. Some ways to help their reading development include:
- Talk to your child
- Explain tasks and activities
- Get hands-on
- Make literary connections
Talk to Your Child
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your toddler still needs help developing language skills. By talking with your toddler and adding more words to what they say, you will help them understand the true name for objects and their purpose. For example, if your toddler sees a school bus and says, “Buh”, you can respond, “Yes, that is a school bus. It is taking children to school this morning.”
Explain Tasks and Activities
Another way to help your toddler with language development is narrating your daily routines. Explaining your actions as you run the bathwater is a perfect example. Using words like first, next, then, and last help teach your baby the sequence of events in day-to-day life. For example, you might say, “First we put the stopper in the tub, then we turn on the water and check the temperature. Next, we add the bubble bath and watch to make sure the tub doesn’t get too full.”
Reading, singing, and making up stories together builds a strong relationship between your child and the importance of learning. Let them turn the pages and ask them questions about the pictures and story. For information on what questions to ask during your read aloud, visit our Read Aloud blog. You can also read nursery rhymes and create movements for the stories, like using your hands for the spider as it climbs the water spout in “The Itsy, Bitsy Spider.” Encourage your toddler to make the movements with you!
Find a library of nursery rhymes in Footsteps2Brilliance!
Make Literary Connections
Reading stories that talk about feelings is a good opportunity to connect their feelings to different occurrences. “The boy in this story is excited! He just finished the puzzle all by himself, just like you get excited when you stack the blocks and they don’t fall over!” You can also connect their feelings during play time and other instances, such as happiness, frustration, and sadness.
Along with Footsteps2Brilliance, Osceola Reads provides a virtual read-aloud library to enjoy with your child.
Your child will learn more during the first three to five years than during any other time of her life. You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Take the time from birth to help her have a head start in her future development and learning.