I have always loved reading and from the time I found out I was pregnant with Liam, I couldn't wait to share that love with him. Up until now, Liam hasn't had any interest in sitting down and reading with me (He is 15 months). In fact, his only interest with books has been to knock them off the shelf and watch them crash to the floor. haha I know he is a busy little guy and it is hard to get any baby/toddler to sit still for more than 30 seconds at a time but that hasn't stopped me from encouraging him. After trying a few things over the last several weeks, I have some strategies that have been so helpful and have watched his love for books grow to the point that now he sits down and looks at them even when I am not right beside him! So I wanted to share a few tips I have found that have really helped instill a love of reading in my toddler.
| M A K E I T P A R T O F T H E I R D A I L Y R O U T I N E |
Try reading with your toddler every day at a similar time of day. Kids thrive off of routines and schedules and do well when they know what to expect. At first, I would plop him in my lap and grab a book to read together and within seconds he was already squirming out of my lap. Not right away but over time it became a part of his daily routine. Now whenever he wants to read a book with me he'll go grab one and almost pull me to the ground and plop himself in my lap. He does it with Nic too and it is our favorite!!
| P A I R I T W I T H S N A C K S |
The way to my son's heart is through food, particularly of the fruit snack variety right now. haha I've started pairing reading time with snack time and he loves it! It seems like his snack keeps him busy and content enough that he is way more willing to sit down with me and read a book. I am loving the Annie's organic brand of fruit snacks by the way ... they are healthier than other brands and even better, they come in a big box at Costco! Who doesn't love a snack while they're reading?! ;)
| C H O O S E B O O K S T H E Y L O V E |
There are about 5 books that are Liam's favorite right now and we read them over and over and OVER again. Do I sometimes get sick of them and want to read something new, yes. But, every time I try to pull something else off the shelf, he immediately notices and pushes it aside to reach for one of his favorites. I know there will come a day when he understands the plot of stories better and will then become interested in more books but until then, I will happily read him the ones he loves most.
| M A K E T H E M A C C E S S A B L E |
I know this one seems like common sense but for a while I only really kept books in Liam's room and I realized that we spend way more time together throughout the day in our living room than we do in his room so naturally there weren't any books around him. He would play with the toys in the toy basket that we keep in the living room instead. Realizing this, I designated the bottom shelf of our console shelves solely to some of his books. Now he goes over and pulls them off the shelf multiple times a day whereas the books in his room still don't get touched a lot. You can even go as far as putting a couple books in each room of your house so that your toddler always has book accessible to them. For right now, the living room is working well for us. Since Liam is a toddler, I only put board books on that particular shelf so that I don't have to worry about them getting ripped/eaten/destroyed if he looks at them on his own. haha I made the mistake of putting one paperback book on that shelf that he carted out of his room one day and that book is goner now! haha oops.
| C H O O S E I N T E R A C T I V E B O O K S |
Books have come a long way since I was a child. They have become so much more interactive now and I love it. For toddlers, choose books with touchy feely fabrics and patterns, things that slide, or flaps that open. Vtech also has some great interactive books that light up and make sounds! All 5 of Liam's favorite books right now fit into these categories. He loves a couple animal books where you can feel their hair/skin like October the Octopus. It even has a big flap to pull open at the end of the book when the Octopus sneezes into a tissue. haha It's cute!
If you have a toddler at home who isn't showing much interest in reading, try a couple of these tips! I hope they are helpful. The biggest thing is simply just to keep trying. Like the first tip, make it a part of their daily routine. I'd love to hear how it is going so feel free to share in the comments below or share any other tips you have with me too! It's just as much a work in progress over here too! XO