Reading to Your Toddler: Making the Most out of Toddler Story Time

Including story time in your toddler’s daily schedule is a wonderful way to help them experience their world. Toddlers want to devour books . . . literally. Luckily there is a huge selection of books available that will allow them to do just that.

Toddlers experience things with all their senses. They don’t just want to listen to a story they want to participate in it. Toddlers love books that they can touch and turn the pages and yes, sometimes taste. Variety in your toddler’s book collection is the key to developing a lifelong love of reading.

Board Books

Board books are wonderful because not only do they hold up well to rough play over time but they have nice thick pages that make it easy for a toddler to turn the pages on their own. They are often smaller than other books and are easy for toddlers to sit and hold the book on their lap, which is great for fostering a love of reading. Toddlers love being read to but learning how to enjoy a book on their own helps them to develop a personal love of books.

Good Night Moon is a classic childhood book that comes in a board book form. Toddlers love the simple words and peaceful feeling to the story.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar also comes in board book form and adds some variety to the pages by including some that are shorter than others. Toddlers love the surprise they get when they only turn half a page.

Touch and Feel Books

Toddlers learn quite a bit about the world around them through textures. They love experiencing different textures and are often surprised by what they feel. Touch and feel books offer an added dimension to story time for toddlers and make it a fantastic time of discovery. Touch and feel books are great for toddlers who often struggle to sit through story time. By participating more fully in the story, toddlers will be interested in reading for a longer period of time.

DK has a wonderful touch and feel series that features a different texture on each page. Toddlers love the simple themes of their books and the wonderful variety of textures that they include.

Pat the Bunny is a classic that was one of the first of its kind when it was published in 1940. Toddlers love the interactive experience that they get from reading this book

Fabric Books

Fabric or cloth books are often hard to find in the stores but they are a great option for younger toddlers or toddlers who have a habit of tearing other types of books. Many craft stores sell simple patterns to create fabric books. Making a fabric book for your toddler yourself gives you the ability to personalize it to your toddlers interests and needs. Fabric books can also include activity pages geared toward toddlers that make them great for times when your toddler has to be patient longer than they want to be.

Lift the Flap Books

Lift the flap books make reading a new experience for toddlers. Think of it like a game of peek-a-boo in story form. The downside to these books is that the flaps are liable to be torn over time if your toddler is not careful (which nearly always happens) but they generally have many hours of story time in them before that happens. Toddlers love the surprise of seeing what is under each flap and they love being a part of the story. Lifting the flaps is wonderful for your toddler’s small motor skills as well.