It’s never too early to begin reading to and with toddlers. Young children are curious and eager to learn. There definitely is truth in the saying that children’s brains are like sponges, as they are always learning and retaining information that they encounter. Let’s take a look at some benefits and tips for parents and toddlers reading together.
Benefits of Reading with Toddlers in Home Language
Research demonstrates that reading with toddlers has a positive impact on their future educational and social endeavors. Reading with toddlers is the best way to expose them to literature in their home language. Additionally, reading to and with toddlers lays the foundation for stronger reading and language skills in the future. Reading with toddlers helps them learn vocabulary and how to use said words or phrases. Additionally, it helps toddlers become aware of the alphabet, and the sounds and pronunciations of the letters.
Tips for Reading with Toddlers
As mentioned, toddlers are at a stage where they are constantly learning. During this life stage they are learning about shapes, colors, sounds, letters, weather, and animals among other topics. So, it is important to choose books that they can relate to, so that they can form a connection between the story and the words being said. It’s also important to choose books that have a lot of pictures, so that toddlers can begin to associate certain words with certain images. Additionally, setting a scheduled reading time will make it a special time of day that children will look forward to. Parents can ask their toddlers to choose books, turn pages, and even repeat after them. This way, toddlers will truly enjoy reading and learning.
Reading Programs for Home Language and English Learners
ELL parents should participate in age appropriate reading programs with their toddlers. The Latino Family Literacy Project offers a six-week long Infant/Toddler program for early childhood centers to provide parents with young children from birth to two years of age. This program supports the idea that parents are their children’s first teacher. It also introduces ELL parents to concepts such as child development, language development, and basic parenting skills. This program will introduce parents to new vocabulary in both English and Spanish, and it will teach them how to observe their toddler and write about them in a handmade book especially about their Infant/Toddler.
ELL Parents and Toddlers Reading Together