As parents and educators, we all know the importance of giving children ample exposure to books. We are constantly being fed the latest research-based tips and ideas on how to encourage literacy both in the classroom and at home. The importance of reading to children is undeniable.
But let’s be honest, getting a toddler to sit down to read a picture book can be like fighting with a cat getting a bath.
I don’t know about you, but my toddlers don’t always sit quietly and snuggle me close while I read to them. Sometimes (ok, maybe often), pages get torn apart, I get poked in the eye and one of my toddlers has yanked the book out of my hands and bonked the other in the head. Occasionally, one of them loses his pants as he slips down and runs off laughing, and the other starts to play with the CD player on the night table next to the rocking chair. And once, the lamp was knocked over, resulting in a shattered light bulb.
We’ve all been there. (At least, I hope I’m not alone).
Reading to our babies and toddlers isn’t easy, but we do it. Every day. Because we know how important it is.
The Importance of Reading to Your Toddler
We know it’s important to read to our children, but here are a few facts to remember about why. Reading to our children:
- helps them develop strong, trusting relationships.
- helps develop vocabulary and mature speech patterns.
- eases the difficulty of learning how to read.
- increases the likelihood of overall academic success.
- enhances concentration, focus and discipline
- teaches them about new and familiar topics
Don’t Worry, It Gets Better
Imagine what it would be like if they did sit through a story or two, playing with your hair as they snuggle cozy blankets and point out objects of interest in the pictures. Imagine that they babble and talk about what they see, and ask to have books read to them again and again and again.
Imagine. Just imagine.
Well, remember my wiggling toddlers? They don’t wiggle as much anymore. They have developed a love of reading that is undeniable. Like the picture I painted above. They sit and snuggle. They point and babble. They ask for more.
And rarely do I get poked in the eye.
Reading with a toddler can be enjoyable. It does become picturesque of all those images we see in the parenting and teaching magazines that are so encouraging.
For my toddlers, it happened with the help of these ten board books. Every toddler needs these ten board books, because with these books, toddlers and babies develop a true love and enjoyment of reading.
And they have all be tried and tested by my own two toddlers. And approved.
1o Board Books Every Toddler Needs
This is easily our favorite board book for babies. The text is simple, predictable and short, making it an excellent choice for toddlers before they can sit still for longer periods.
Toddlers love to lift the flaps of this book as they learn the names of clothing and body parts. With an interactive book like this one, my toddlers are always asking for more, and this reading of peek-a-boo is a favorite.
Toddlers learn farm animal names as they explore kindness and friendship while adventuring with Little Blue. Your toddler will love making sound effects as Little Blue “beep, beep, beep!”s along, too.
This is another favorite, so much so that most days when I get my older toddler from his nap I find him sitting in bed “reading” to himself. The pages are colorful and the text has an inviting rhythm. And what toddler doesn’t love to make the sounds in this book!?
This is a classic board book, and for good reason. It’s text is comforting to toddlers, easing them into a calming quiet before bedtime. We always like to find the mouse on each page, too.
Who doesn’t love to sing this song to their little one? The pictures are sweet and interesting to toddlers and babies who love to hear Mom and Dad sing the lyrics on each page.
Toddlers learn animal names as they listen to the lyrical rhyming text and look at the whimsical pictures. My toddlers like act out the motions, but this book is also good for before bedtime snuggles.
Every toddler likes to pull and play with an animal’s tail, and here is their chance. This touch and feel board book with lift and pull flaps is irresistible to toddlers. It has certainly been well loved at our house!
With scanimation on every page, this board book is a serious crowd pleaser. Toddlers are fascinated by how the pictures on the book move before them, and the whimsical text also makes this one a well loved favorite.
Toddler love pointing out Goddies bright, red boots, and when they get lost in the book they love helping her find them. Thsi books is fun and invites toddlers to participate in the reading.
More Favorite Book Lists
For More Information
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.