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On Books, Reading and Tips on How to Read to Toddlers

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How to Read to Toddlers 1I grew up with books surrounding me. When I was in grade school, I have a portion in my room where I keep all my Sweet Valley, Babysitters Club and Nancy Drew books. I would rather have a new Sweet Valley Kids book than get a Barbie doll on my birthday (though I love playing with Barbie and lutu-lutuan). Maybe I got it from my mom, who is also a voracious reader. 

When I became a mom and considering the popularity of tablets these days, I made sure that my kids will still experience how to hold an actual book, flip through pages and let their imagination run wild. I started with the simple cloth and board books that introduce the letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Later on, I bought character books (Dora, Disney princesses, Mickey Mouse books) since it caught my toddlers’ attention. I slowly transitioned to big story books (yes, that includes Peppa Pig) and tried my best to read to them every night. Activity books that teaches my kids to write also became part of my “Books Budget.” Right now, I included classics in our collection to familiarize them since I’m sure English classes will always include classics in the reading list.  

BabyLit books from Moderne Lifestyle, P400 each
BabyLit books from Moderne Lifestyle, P400 each

My girls are 2 and 3.6 years old now and I could say that they already share the same passion that I have when it comes to books. They love getting books in their shelf and pretend to read. Surprisingly, my eldest prefers buying books instead of toys and constantly “nags” me to read her story every night. 

However, reading to my kids is not always easy. There are lots of “No,” “I don’t like,” “Me only” and shouting before I finish one Peppa Pig board book – with five pages! Reading to two active toddlers is also a sort of mission impossible because it’s hard to keep them still.

We’re still a work in progress and there is still a constant battle on who and what to read. I’m glad because my kids show inclination towards books at an early age. Here’s what I do to teach my kids to become book lovers.     

5 Tips on How to Read to Toddlers How to Read to Toddlers 21. Make reading a daily habit. 

When I was younger, I remember my mom buying me a new book every week then asks me what happened after I finish the story. Since then, I developed my love for reading. Constant exposure to books and reading one book at a time religiously made me love books. 

As a mom, repetition is important to teach my kids something valuable as they grow up. The same mantra goes to reading. At first, my girls were agitated and restless every time I pick a book. As the days go along, they become used it and started to listen when I read them something. They even choose the book they want. It takes time but making reading a daily habit could make the kids change their mind about reading and books in general. 

2. Just read. 

Admit it. It hurts when you try to teach your kids something and they don’t want to listen. However, one thing I noticed with my kids is that they can learn and move at the same time. In fact, I was surprised to hear my youngest respond to a story or sing a song, just when I thought she’s not listening. 

So go ahead and read to your kids, even if they don’t look like they are listening. Kids are smarter than we think and they have their own way of processing and recalling information. However, if you notice that your kids are agitated and uncomfortable, then stop, close the book and read later. Pay attention to how they react since forcing reading into your daily schedule could make them hate books. 

3. Choose books wisely. 

Every time I am in Powerbooks, I always have the tendency to buy as many books for my kids. Before paying for the items, I stop and ask myself if this is something they want and listen to. 

For sure, all children’s book authors have the best intentions when they carve out a story. Apparently, kids are not the same, with separate interests, favorites and preferences. Therefore, when buying books, make sure to choose books according to your child’s interests and favorite topics. This will make them engage more during reading sessions. 

4. It’s okay to be interrupted. 

Mommas, when reading to your kids, don’t hesitate to welcome interruptions. That’s okay. We can’t expect our kids to just sit down and listen to every word we say. Every time I read to my eldest, she always interrupts me by making funny sounds and endless comments about the characters. She even makes up her own story instead of making me finish. 

I used to get annoyed but eventually, I realized it’s part of her learning process. She may not remember every single word on the book but she did remember what happened to who. The more she explored on her own, the better the recall. 

5. Designate a reading schedule. 

Aside from making reading a habit, make sure to allot a certain time where you and your kids could read a book. I don’t usually have a specific time but I noticed that my kids participate well when I read to them at night, usually after their night bath. 

Observe your child to determine when is the right time for you to read to him/her. Some kids enjoy reading before going to bed, as soon as they wake up in the morning or even after bath.

Reading to your kids could be challenging. The important thing is to make a constant effort to introduce books to our children, read to them constantly even if they look like they’re not listening and find ways not just to get their attention but to encourage them to love books more.

Happy reading mommas!  

Ayi

A former law student turned stay-at-home mom of two. Join me and read my adventures as I go through this crazy world called parenting and mommy-hood.

22 Comments

  1. Celerhina Aubrey β˜…

    I try to read books to my 15month old daughter kaso ayaw nya. She’d get the book, dadapa sa kama and would “read”. As in you’d hear sounds like she’s reading pero di ko gets. German ata anak ko! Hahaha! But these are great tips. Probably sasabayan ko nalang sya.

    09 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Challenge talaga to read to a toddler momma. Patience lang πŸ™‚

      09 . Jun . 2015
  2. Kaity

    I love tip #2! I just read and read to my boys even if at times they are distracted. But most of the time they participate and reading is a good bonding experience too!(:

    09 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Yes, I agree. Reading is a good bonding experience πŸ™‚

      09 . Jun . 2015
  3. MrsMartinez

    My daughter loves books too! I read to her on a daily basis ; )

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

    10 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      That’s good to hear momma πŸ™‚

      10 . Jun . 2015
  4. Lique Dimayuga

    We love books too! It helped them develop their vocabulary earlier on.. And buying them is an investment really. Good job mommy πŸ™‚

    10 . Jun . 2015
  5. sarah tirona

    these are awesome tips, ty!

    10 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      You’re welcome πŸ™‚

      10 . Jun . 2015
  6. Rowena Wendy Lei

    I love reading and like you I do my best to instill the love of reading in my kids. πŸ™‚

    10 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Kids these days, especially the younger ones, must know the concept of books and flipping pages :))

      11 . Jun . 2015
  7. Jacq

    I super agree with Choosing books wisely. Sa super daming choices ng books, dapat alamin ang binabasa ng anak. πŸ™‚

    10 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Yes, and its something they are interested too πŸ™‚

      11 . Jun . 2015
  8. Mommy Jen

    I want my toddler (19months) to love books too because I never get the chance when I was younger (busy playing with out in the streets). Thanks for the tip as I surely would apply these next time when I read books to him. This reminds me too that we broke the habit of reading na. =( we better get back to our routine.

    10 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Good luck on your reading session momma! I hope these tips are useful πŸ™‚

      11 . Jun . 2015
  9. Mommy Levy

    One of my son’s happy places is bookstore. He loves reading din kasi.

    10 . Jun . 2015
  10. Nicole Paler

    I personally think that kids have this innate love of reading, or pretending to read through the pictures… These are great tips by the way, maybe sabayan ko ang anak ko later with her reading in jap-english and me in english rin hehe.. πŸ™‚

    11 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Yes, but we should also guide them to develop the love for reading πŸ™‚ Thanks πŸ™‚

      11 . Jun . 2015
  11. Jackie Park

    One of the many blessings I have is ung katag-team ko in taking care of my daughter also loves to read her books. So since she and I read books to her all the time she naturally started wanting to read more books din.
    Your kids are 2 and almost 4, mine is just almost 2 and a newborn. I’m hoping that when my kids reach your kids’ age that they’ll still love reading books πŸ™‚ Thanks for the advice!

    11 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      Feel ko naman as long as there is constant exposure to books, your kids will love and enjoy it πŸ™‚ I hope this post helps πŸ™‚

      12 . Jun . 2015
  12. ruthalfonsoalarcon

    This is a good practice. I expose my kids to book too! Thanks for the tips!

    13 . Jun . 2015
    • Ayi

      You’re welcome πŸ™‚

      14 . Jun . 2015

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