Reading to children of all ages is very important; however
reading to infants and toddlers sets the foundation for independent reading
later. It builds emergent literacy skills, is one of the best exposures of
language, and can possibly prevent reading problems in elementary school. When
you read to these littles, they make big leaps in language development as they learn
speech patterns, vocabulary, and also synapses connect between their neurons.
Experts recommend reading to toddlers as often as possible. At the very least you should
strive for one reading time per day. Although anytime is a good time to read to your
little, it’s good to choose regular times for instance before naps and
bedtime helps kids learn to sit with a book and relax.
author, do a picture walk, track with your fingers and read expressively. A picture walk is previewing the pictures in a
storybook to familiarize the child with the story prior to introducing the
text. It prepares a child for reading the story and teaches the child visual
cues as a reading strategy. At this age you are basically going to describe
what’s happening in the pictures.
and also helps them match spoken word with print.
Fluency refers to the speed and rate at which you read, accuracy and expression
used while reading. So be sure to vary voice inflections as you read.
Specifically your tone should slightly go down at periods; rise at question
marks and your voice should reflect excitement at exclamation marks.
expression into your read aloud routine and when you become more comfortable
with this, add another component. Try asking your toddler open-ended questions
about the pictures as you read. Examples: “Why do you think the boy is
yawning? Why do you think he’s sitting on his bed? What do you think will
been read to them, so leave the books available on shelves, in baskets, and in
the car while traveling. If you are concerned about pages being ripped,
board or cloth books are great particularly for toddlers and infants.
target the following standards. I’ve listed CCSS and my state’s standards.
Common Core State Standards
Virginia Department of Education Standards
of Learning K.5
1. Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic
features of print.
a. Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page
b. Recognize that spoken words are represented in written
language by specific sequences of letters.
6. Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the
role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.
7. With prompting and support, describe the relationship
between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person,
place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
• turn pages appropriately.
• distinguish print from
• follow text with a finger,
pointing to each word as it is read from left to right and top to bottom.
• locate lines of text,
words, letters, and spaces.
• match voice with print in
syllables, words, and phrases.
• locate and name periods,
question marks, and exclamation points.
Don’t feel discouraged if you notice your infant or toddler is moving around
as you are reading, littles love to
move around and are very busy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t listening. I assure
you their attention spans will get longer soon. Again, don’t forget to read as
often as possible. Remember to schedule one reading session a day, describe the
pictures before you read the book, track with your fingers and read
expressively using characters and punctuation as cues.