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Toddlers can't read, so why do we bother with reading them books? The answer is simple: one day they will have to learn to read and if they like books, associate them with fun and good experiences, they will be more inclined to want to learn about letters and sounds and eventually reading.
Being able to read a book is a huge and marvelous gift. It opens the world up for little children and allows them to enjoy the fantastic stories that are available and help them learn at school. So, by reading to the toddlers and even babies, you're helping them for when they need to learn to read at school and indeed helping on their journey through school. Plus, even more important at this stage, introducing them to a wonderful world of stories and adventures!
So, what to do to make books fun! Here are a few tips:
- Read as often as possible! You can read a book in bed, while on a journey, in the morning. Have some cuddly time together when you read and make it cosy and comforting for you both!
- Try and bring the stories to life by using lots of expressions and funny voices! It will make your child laugh and will help you get through all the kiddie books without getting bored yourself!
- Talk about the stories together and try and guess what is going to happen.
- Let your little on choose the books. Read the favourites as many times as they want! Children love things that are familiar so they love hearing books over and over again!
- Try and encourage the children to say the rhyming bits with you or the catch phrase.
- Try and get as many book as you can! Go to the library, book sales, car boot sales and get a wide selection.
- Allow children to handle books all the time. Yes, teach them to be careful, but get board books if they are heavy handed and let the look at the pictures, feel the pages and turn the pages. You don't need to have a shelf of pristine books that no one is allowed to touch. Better a shelf of books that have been used, and read, and enjoyed for many years!