So what can you do to get your toddler off to a good start with reading?
1. Designate a shelf for books in your toy corner/play room or in their bedroom. The shelf needs to be at their height so they can access the books when they want.
2. Give them a selection of age appropriate books, like board books and stiff cardboard books. You can find books at second hand bookstores, garage sales, Gumtree, eBay and flea markets.
3. Books you want to reserve for story time that have paper pages, put them out of reach so they don't get torn.
4. Let your toddler hold the books and turn the pages. Show them which way around the book goes, and point to pictures with them and tell them the names. Make the sounds that go with them if you like! If you have nursery rhymes, then sing the rhymes with them.
5. Work towards developing a regular story time. A good time to start with is bedtime, but as each family situation is different, do what works for you.
6. Let your child see you read, and let your older children read to them. It's all a positive influence.
7. Give books as gifts.
These activities will help with your child's development. Your toddler needs to become familiar with the sounds in our language, the words, rhyming sounds, and eventually the characters (words) on the page as they get older. All this forms a basis to build on, to help them become successful. Other benefits are the bonding and fun time you have with your child which gives you lovely memories. The stories stimulate your child's imagination too. Watch when it happens, you can see how in the moment they are, and how much they are enjoying the book.
Do you have any favourite books?