We know that children as young as toddlers imitate the important people in their lives. Some will pretend read and pretend write long before they learn to read and write in school. That’s why it’s so important you make sure they see Y O U read.
So read your novels, your newspapers, your recipes, your mail – Be conspicuous –in front of your child. They are listening and they are watching. And without a doubt, they are one of the best captive audiences you will ever have.
TODDLERS = ON THE MOVE!
Some toddlers are not interested in sitting, listening and looking at a book. So wait until nap time or bed time when you see their little eye lids begin to droop, and read softly, soothingly. Keep reading for a minute more even after they have fallen asleep.
Read to them while they are in their high chair eating even if you think they are not listening. In this way, you are also feeding them new words and ideas.
Most of all, be patient and and don’t miss a day of reading.
The pay-off is huge!
How early should children own their own books? I say early toddlerhood….especially if they are given their very own book shelf or book-basket that’s easy for them to reach. And just like their favorite toy, bring books along whenever you know there will be some waiting time, in a restaurant, an airport, bus or train terminal. You can never have too many books – so give them and ask for them for birthday and holiday presents!