Ways to Encourage A Love Of Reading In Toddlers

Most toddlers are a long way off from reading independently, but it is a great time to help encourage a life long love of reading! We have come up with a list of easy ways to enhance early literacy. 

Encourage Quiet “Reading” Time 

Provide your toddler opportunities to explore books on their own. We always set some books next to a chair in our playroom and put one or two in her playpen so that she can look at them when she is ready. Now that she is getting close to two, she will sit with a book and point to pictures while babbling away. 

Go To The Library

We visit the library weekly! Not only can we check out new books to see if we like them before buying them, but our library also has a great weekly toddler time that helps with social skills. A lot of people get a little nervous visiting a library with toddlers, but it will be fine! A majority of libraries have a little area set up just for smaller children. 

Read Out Loud To Your Toddler

It can be super hard to get toddlers to sit still long enough to read with them, but it is so important. We read at least one book a day, but try to read two or three. Try not to read faster just because your toddler is being wiggly. You can always take a break and come back to the book later. 

Pick Books Based On Your Toddlers Interests 

Your toddler is much more likely to want to engage with a book if they enjoy the topic. Our toddler is all about unicorns and sharks right now. When we get books with pictures of those two things, she cheers and claps her hands. 

Point Out Words in Every Day Life

Words are all around us, but sometimes we forget that toddlers do not yet know that. This can be as simple as pointing out that a stop sign says “Stop” or reading the names of stores as you drive and talking about how to spell them. The more exposure a child gets to letters and how they work, the easier reading will come when it is time. 

We hope that these tips can help you encourage your toddler’s interest in reading! We would love to hear from you. Do you have any additional ways to encourage early literacy? What is your favorite book to read to your little one? 

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19 thoughts on “Ways to Encourage A Love Of Reading In Toddlers”

  1. Reading needs to start right away, even when they are infants. Reading starts with just them hearing your voice. The earlier you start, you can then build a love of reading from the beginning. I also always give books as gifts. That way it’s viewed as something special. Rachel from Explore Kid Talk

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  2. Also seeing the people they love reading encourages them!
    I love love love this!
    Some of my favorites to read are The Froggy Books, Corduroy, and anything by Eric Carle!!

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  3. These are excellent tips to help encourage toddlers to begin reading. Reading is a wonderful skill that will greatly benefit a child as it grows older.

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  4. The only one we don’t do on this list is going to the library. But, my boys both have library time at their preschool and elementary school. We read at least two books every night before bed and my kindergartener is starting to read basic books, too! I absolutely love to read, I don’t go anywhere without my kindle, so I am hoping they get a bit of that.

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  5. I am so with you on all of these, especially the library idea. Libraries offer so many amazing services for all folks and I love the idea of simultaneously supporting their work while encouraging our kids to read! So cool!

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    1. I wish our library had a program like that, it would be really cool! They have done a few events where they encourage children to read to therapy dogs, but we have not made it to one yet because my toddler would be totally disruptive with dogs chilling at the library.

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  6. Anytime I am gifting a toddler in my life something, it’s a book. When I’m babysitting and quiet time is needed I also tend to surround us with books. I think it’s so important to encourage that in all children.

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  7. These are tried and true tips! My Mom used all of these when I was growing up and I truly think helped to establish my love of reading! -Tonya Morris

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