Read Along with your Finger
If your toddler is like mine, their eyes are attracted to movement. Although my little boy doesn’t follow word for word, he will definitely look when I emphasize a word by pointing at it emphatically.
Match Words to Pictures
If you read the word “bear” and there happens to be a picture of a bear on the page, take a second to point to it. Not only will your toddler start to understand that there is a connection between written words and objects, but they will also learn to associate specific words with things.
Get your Toddler Involved
Ask your toddler to look for objects in the pictures. Talk about the story and try to relate it to an experience they had first-hand. “They are having a picnic. Do you remember when we went on a picnic?” Ask your toddler what they think will happen next or how a character might be feeling about a situation. “Do you think the dog is sad?”
Hunt for Alphabet Letters
For some reason, my toddler loves the letters “O” and “S”. Whether prompted or not, he will happily point out all of those letters on the page no matter how small the type. Hunting for letters is a great way to practice the alphabet with your toddler.
Let your Toddler Choose the Books
Sure, you may find yourself reading the same book over and over again for nights on end, but there is a reason your toddler loves it. They will be more engaged in books that interest them. Plus, memorization can help toddlers learn to read sooner. Of course, it is good to expand their horizons every now and again. We normally read two books before bed, one that our toddler chooses and one that we chose. Sometimes, our book becomes his new favorite.
Read to your Toddler Slowly
Your toddler will get a lot more from reading if you slow it down a bit. Their brains can process to stories and words better and they will have a chance to process what you are reading.
Make Reading to your Toddler Fun
Speak enthusiastically and use different voices for different characters. Your toddler will pick up on your excitement and they will WANT to read with you.