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Reading to Toddlers

The Benefits of Reading With Your Toddler

Taking time daily to read for your little ones will have enormous benefits. Reading not only helps to increase knowledge, it also enhances vocabulary and language skills development in young children. A toddler's vocabulary growth comes from the words spoken by the parents, and beyond everyday speech, it is the act of reading out loud that plays a key role in a child's vocabulary development.

There are some very interesting scientific studies that suggests that a one year school experience may not have any measurable impact on a child's vocabulary size. Other studies have found that when stories were read just once without explanation, a child understood 4% more words, while if the same story is read several times with word explanations, a child's word knowledge increase by 14 to 29% [A. Biemiller].

Simply spending 10 to 15 minutes each day reading bedtime stories for your child will have an enormous impact on their vocabulary growth and language development. When it comes to reading for toddlers, there's a far-reaching impact of reading to a child early on. One study had indicated that early parental involvement in teaching children about reading related directly to the child's early literacy skill development. Furthermore, This directly predicts the child's word reading skills at the end of grade 1 and indirectly for grade 3. [Sénéchal, LeFevre]

How to Read to Toddlers

Start reading to your child as early as possible. Yes, even reading to your baby will have great benefits. It provides a great bonding time for you and your infant, and don't forget that language and speech skills are learned through hearing. Reading early to your child will help your child develop a habit and a liking for books and reading, and this sets the path for enhanced early literacy development for the child.

When reading to your child, try using different voices and tones to act out the story. Some adults may feel silly doing this, but dramatic reading will grab your child's attention and keep him or her interested. There's no need to feel out of character or silly - to your small audience, it feels perfectly natural!

As your baby grows into a toddler, take them to the book store and let them pick storybooks that appeal to them. Try to setup a home environment surrounded by interesting and colorful books. Even if your child can't read just yet, he or she may simply try to "read" their favorite books. This process is known as emergent literacy, and it is part of the process of becoming literate.

Another enormous benefit of early reading is that you help your child develop a natural love of reading. Instead of having the TV baby-sit your child, books can keep a young child occupied for long periods of time. With our children, when they're bored and don't know what to do, they head to their bookshelf, pick up a book, and start reading. What would you rather have, your child go flip on the TV or pick up a book and start reading?

Reading with your toddler early on will have enormous benefits in helping them learn to read eventually. Click here to discover how you can easily and effectively teach your toddler to read.

Baby & Toddler Videos

Toddler Reading Video
Watch a 2 year old toddler read, and see how this child's reading skill develops at 3 and 4 years old.