Teaching your kids...

STORY-TIME SPECIAL: READING WITH YOUR TODDLER

I love nap-time! But my toddlers would prefer to fight sleep by getting in to every bit of mischief they can. Running the bathroom tap, or the 2 year old flushing the toilet 10 times, pulling their chairs up to the kitchen sink to “wash dishes” – it only happens when they are overdue for a nap. “They” ( my 3 year and 2 year olds, #5 and #6 of my seven daughters) apparently increase activity in order to maintain their energy to avoid falling asleep at nap-time… well so it would seem.

One of the things I look forward to each nap-time is our 10 to 15 minutes of story time. There are quite a few days when my toddler does not necessarily feel like having a story actually read to her – she would prefer to flip through the pages and look at the pictures; and that is perfectly fine – the primary goal of providing your toddler with daily (or at least weekly) story time sessions with you is so that it can help to build their vocabulary and understanding of the language they will speak and communicate with in every single aspect of their lives from now on.

There are so many fabulous reasons to set this solid foundation for your precious child’s literary success in life later on; this is indeed one of the most valuable tools you can provide to them which will be used to unlock so many opportunities later on.

Here are some very good reasons to grab those books, cuddle up with pillows, blankies and fave teddy bears and read every day to our active little toddler people.

  1. It is vital to the success of our children that they have an excellent ability to read and comprehend the information; when we read with our toddlers we are introducing them and preparing their brains for more complex text in future.
  2. Starting a reading “program” at home with your children from a very young age is key to them going on to appreciate reading and to develop a thorough grasp of reading and writing as adults; they will apply these skills in everything they do from private relationships to business and/or careers;
  3. It will help to increase their level of concentration as well as the kiddie’s attention span – this will be a real blessing to your child when they begin taking tests and exams during school life.
  4. Reading with your toddler is vital to their intellectual growth and development as a whole;
  5. When you begin enthusiastically reading to your toddler you are encouraging your children to appreciate books and reading; this will truly motivate them through every level of their academic career and make the learning process easier.

We all know toddlers can be restless and the more excited they become about something the more restless they will get; so the earlier you get your toddler accustomed to having story time the better of a chance that they will actually sit and listen and really begin understanding the little tales read to them and when they begin going to school they are already accustomed to sitting quietly and listening to others.

Starting early with daily reading in a fun, exciting and loving fashion is one of the best ways to accelerate your child’s learning abilities. Choosing a particular time of day to have story time with your toddler is also a good idea, this means they know what is expected of them and what to expect of you at that time – it is reading time, a time when little angel and mommy sit together and look at books and perhaps read a few. Choosing books with large fonts, big, bright and colorful pictures is the best route to take when attempting to entertain our very active toddlers in a calm and quiet setting.

I chose nap time as my preferred time for having these moments of kiddie literature because it helps them to calm down a bit after the morning of play. My toddlers’ nap time is usually between 12:30pm to 2pm and they typically will nap for 1.5 to 2 hours so we will spend 10 to 15 minutes reading or looking through books together before the nap. My girls love story time, they eagerly choose the books now and usually bring many more than they would ever sit still to have me read. My 2 year old prefers when we just look at the pictures and she likes to point out things and name them – I use this as an opportunity to teach her colors, letters and counting or even the meaning of a new word.

I love reading and it has helped me in so many ways throughout my life; it is so important to me that my daughters also understand the freedom that the ability to read can give them. We are so fortunate that we have so many books and reading resources these days and centuries ago reading was only for the wealthy – we are so blessed. If you do not read regularly to your toddler already. now would still be an excellent time to start; not only will it provide your child with all the amazing benefits I have written about here; but it is also great time to sit your precious child near to you, wrapped in your arms to listen to the voice that they love more than any other, reading to your toddler is such a great way to spend that priceless mommy and me time. As mommies we are the world to our children; all they know is what we have exposed them to through being their mommy – expose your child to books and the power of reading.

So grab those cute and colorful pop-up story books and your growing bundle of absolute love and have a fun-filled 15 minutes of reading with your toddler today. And please tell me what your little ones fave story book or character is and suggest any stories that you think every mommy should read to their toddler.

Peace and love

Megs

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