Being an avid reader myself, I really hope I can inculcate the same habit in my daughter. However, getting your toddler to sit down with you and read books can be quite a daunting task (she is 2 and a half years old, so reading basically means that she goes through them and listens to me speak). As all mothers can vouch, toddlers have an attention span of just a few seconds. So I am listing out a few pointers to help mommies get their toddlers interested in books at least!
1) Repetition – Repeat, repeat and repeat. We often lose our patience when we see a distracted toddler not interested in what we have to say. My suggestion, don’t give up! If your toddler is running here and there, or tuning you out, close the book and try reading again after sometime. Or maybe the next day. Just make it a point to take out 1-2 books daily and read some part to your toddler. Sooner or later, they will come to enjoy this mommy baby reading time.
2) Fun activities – An activity which involves characters of the book helps to develop an interest in the book itself. For instance, when I bought books on Peppa pig, she wasn’t really interested in them, but when I got her a puzzle with all Peppa pig characters, she began to relate to the characters even more. For that matter, watching Peppa pig on television also helped. She instantly started picking up the book herself, as she enjoyed watching the shows and could relate to the characters even more.
3) Asking questions – One of the best techniques to get a child involved in a book reading activity is to ask him/her a lot of questions about pictures in the book. For instance, what colour is the hat, how many animals do you see, where is the cow etc.
4) Speaking in an animated way, reading your own book in front of your toddler (they learn the most from us) and taking them to visit to a bookshop or library where they can explore and choose their own books are the 3 useful tips given to me by Astha Sharda, resident of Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, & mother of a 5 year old, who took to books at a very early age.
5) Few Recommendations – For babies below the age of 2, one can start with playbooks which give toddlers ample opportunity to explore. And then one can move to picture books. Below are few recommendations -
At the age of 2+, I would recommend books of the following authors – Dr Suess, Eric Carle & Julia Donaldson. A glimpse of my daughter’s favourite books these days –
I hope these tips were helpful. Remember to have fun together while reading as that’s perhaps the most important tip! I would love to hear any new techniques you mommies have to get your babies to read! Happy Reading!