Every Moment You Share Readings With Your Young Child Is a Treasure

The adult reading the book can make it come to life and turn it into a language-rich experience for the child.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

Listen to this article

Here are some tips from Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) Adrienne to get toddlers to sit and read with you. Adrienne works with children who have language delays or disabilities that make communicating difficult. Her role is to facilitate language development through parent education by teaching them research-based strategies.

If your toddler is bored with books and you are having trouble keeping his or her attention, here is a simple step-by-step guide that will make reading stories a more joyful experience.

The six strategies recommended by the expert include repetition, pointing, labeling, verbal routines, increased prosody, and signs and gestures.

Adrienne likes to use "Baby Basics My First Words" by Roger Priddy to stimulate the reading habit among toddlers. This book has firm pages, so it's not going to tear as easily.


On the cover of the book are four pictures. Adrienne asks first where the baby is. Once the toddler finds it, she always points out the picture they are talking about. Then the SLP takes the child's hand and makes the sound of a train. She proceeds to ask, "Where is Choo Choo?" and let the child point out where it is. The expert helps the children use their pointer fingers up and shape their hands to point.

Increased Prosody

Also known as the sing-song voice, the SLP recommends adding sound to every image. In this case, she mimics the sound of trains, so it's easier for the toddler to remember the object. When she finds the picture of a bear, before saying its name, she roars.


She repeats the names and the sounds that go with every object in the book. You can use repetition to introduce words to toddlers.


Signs and Gestures

Kids will mimic the adult's gestures and make, for example, the sound of a lion while using their face to help themselves mimic the look of this animal. Incorporating some signs and gestures along with the words is critical. This way, kids will link the visual elements with the auditory ones.

Verbal Routines

After repeating the same word with a page filled with the same image multiple times, make a pause and wait. Use this time to let the kid finish the sentence or name the thing you are pointing to.


In your kid's room, you can label many of her or his everyday objects. Each of these items will have a visual of what exactly the thing is or contains. They will start noticing words and letters, and it will be easier for them to have fun while reading with you.

Suppose a child hears the story of a character that causes him or her closeness or curiosity, and knows their adventure or story, and sees that every detail is valuable in some way. In that case, they will connect it with their own experiences and with their own imagination even before they can verbalize any word.

Make reading books less of a struggle and more a fun bonding time with your toddler!

More Articles