Monday, September 3, 2012

20 Toddler tips in 20 days 8.Reading the ABC's

Toddler Survival Tip #8 Reading ABC's

8. Reading the ABC's

It's true most toddlers are all about the action and being physical. But they are also trying to communicate with you. After the age of 12 months you may see some frustrations and misbehaviour and a lot of this may be due to lack of communication skills. Encourage language development and interest in books by reading with your toddler every day if you can. Keep it light an engaging. Here are some great reading tips for an active toddler.

1. Sit still? Don't expect your toddler to sit through an entire book, even a small book. Toddlers need to move, engage them by reading with animals sounds and time to move books. A great favourite of Nashville's is "I Love You Through and Through." It has a lot of body parts he can point to like his ears, nose etc. It also has parts where he can run, walk, open his mouth and say awe. He loves the interaction in the book. 

2. Pause. Don't rush a book. Stay on a favourite page if he wants to see that page and make the elephant noise again and again. Let your little one finish a phrase if he knows the ending. I have a song we sing and at the end of it I stop and he says, "and on an on an on an on." It's so cute! When they get real smart, make silly mistakes and watch them giggle and correct you.

3. Little Bits. As I said before don't try to sit through an entire book, you know your child's attention span. Read bits at a time, let them choose the book. Read often throughout the day. My toddler will run back and forth to the book corner for one or two pages only, then off he goes.

4. Comprehension. It can start early. Ask them questions, even young ones. "Where do you think the puppy is going?" "What will happen next?" The answers are sometimes super funny! For my 14 month old, if I ask where is it, he signs back to me "where is it?" lol

5. Toddler not into reading? Try to pick up books at different times in the day. Sometimes before bed maybe a nice quiet time or early in the morning. We have a book corner in the house with a big soft pillow and a bin of books, I put in different books once in a while or library books to keep it interesting and new. Next time they fled to the corner, they are like, "wow new books! It's like surprise."

6. Try Signing. Of course, I wouldn't be a signing mama if I didn't encourage sign language with your little ones. 12 months is a great time to start, but anytime is a great time to start. They are geared for language at birth, that is why they cry for food on day one. Signing babies tend to read earlier than babies that are not signed to. 25 years of scientific research put on by Dr. Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwin proved that babies who were signed to scored 12 points higher on intellectual skills by the age of 8 years old compared to non signing babies.

Personal Experience:
 I love to watch Nashville reading his book to himself at 14 months. He turns the pages and signs the words he knows. He knows about 50 signs already! He has already started talking. He also picks up letters and tries out the sounds of them like T... saying ttttttt. It's super cool!

Happy Reading!

Abbotsford Baby Sign Language classes begin Sept. 11th!

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