I love books and as a mum of a two year old, I place a lot of importance on reading to or with my little one. As my daughter has grown, I have seen her interest develop in different types of books, so here are my top seven that you may want to consider adding to their bookshelf…
Lift and flap books: While your toddler might not be able to read the words on the page just yet, reading a lift and flap book with them help to understand the pace of the book better. Once you finish speaking it’s time for them to lift the flap up and see what is underneath. It also prompts the ‘what is that?’ question- as inevitably there is an animal or object behind the flap that they may or may not have seen before. It’s something you can easily read together and will hold their attention because it requires their input on every page.
Touch and feel books: These are great for teaching your little one about different textures- so they can learn new words like ‘fluffy’, ‘smooth’ or ‘bumpy’- the That’s Not My… range of books is ideal for this category as they cover a range of different animals and objects so you can tailor it to something your toddler is interested in like dinosaurs or fairies.
Themed books: While it may seem excessive to have books that are particular to a time of year like Halloween, holidays or Christmas, it gives you a chance to help your child learn words that don’t come up every day such as ‘snowman’, ‘beach’ ‘santa’, ‘witch’ or ‘elf’. It can also help them to understand what the celebrations are for and why we do things a certain way.
Books you read as a child: Nothing is more exciting than seeing your child enjoy a book you read when you were little. So pull out a couple of old favourites and read them with your toddler- they are bound to sense your enthusiasm when you read them and enjoy the experience all the more.
Alphabet books: An alphabet book may be short but it’s a vital resource for you as a parent to make learning fun. You can sing the alphabet with them or talk them through each page while they identify the letter and the object. If you practise it enough you can be safe in the knowledge that they are confident at reciting at least twenty six words in their growing vocabulary.
Books that are intended for older children: There is no harm in reading something more advanced than their years. My husband reads Harry Potter to our daughter every night and although she doesn’t understand what is happening, this activity helps to craft her routine. She knows that after her bath, brushing her teeth and putting on her pyjamas- it’s reading time. This helps her to unwind at the end of the day while she listens to my husband’s voice.
Board books: Toddlers are notoriously heavy handed so it’s important to have some board books in your collection so the ones of sentimental value can stay in tip top condition. It doesn’t really matter what the subject matter is, just as long as they have something to practice on so you can teach them about the etiquette around books and subsequently practise on their own.
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Be the example: If you don’t read, chances are you children will opt for other forms of entertainment too. Children learn from what they see their parents doing. So make a conscious effort to read while they are awake rather than when they have gone to bed and they will follow in your footsteps. Even if it’s just a magazine article- read something in their presence and encourage them to do the same… to read more click HERE