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Toddlers

19 months to 3 years
Toddlers never sit still. Encourage language development and interest in books and reading by keeping things lively and engaging. Everyday experiences are full of opportunities to engage in conversation and develop language skills.
Reading to your Toddler is easy, here are some helpful tips!
  • Toddlers like movement. Do not worry when they go and come back while you are reading.
  • Let your toddler choose the book. Toddlers enjoy independence.
  • Place books where your toddler can reach them. Toddlers like colorful and simple books.
  • Make reading time fun. Toddlers like fun voices: “How does the lion roar?"
  • Point things out in the pictures. Toddlers learn new words every day.
  • Use the book as a starting point for conversation. Toddlers know their daily activities: “Does the bear brush his teeth?”
  • Carry books wherever you go. Toddlers love 'reading' everywhere.
  • Develop a daily reading routine. Toddlers quickly learn that before sleep comes reading time with mommy or daddy.
  • Visit the library often. You and your toddler can enjoy a storytime program and get toddler‑friendly books to share.
Hexagon PurpleHear Sounds
Phonological Awareness
Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Reading rhyming books together.
  • Saying sounds of things in the environment (honk, honk) and animals (moo, baa).
Activity for You and Your Toddler

Playfully chase your child into bed while reciting this rhyme:

Wee Willie Winkie
Runs through the town,
Upstairs, downstairs
In his nightgown.
Rapping on the windows,
Crying through the locks,
"Are the children in their beds?
For now it's eight o' clock."

Books to Share with Your Toddler
Clip-Clop

Clip-Clop
Nicola Smee

Hexagon BlueABC's & More
Letter Knowledge
Letter Knowledge is the awareness that the same letter can look different and that letters have names and are related to sounds. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Pointing out letters everywhere: in books, signs, cereal boxes.
  • Playing with puzzles and using alphabet letters to spell out names and words.
  • Writing your child's name; pointing out and naming each letter of his name.
  • Sharing simple alphabet books with your child.
Activity for You and Your Toddler
Spread a thin layer of corn meal or sand over the bottom of a cake pan or small box.
  • Form a letter with your finger.
  • Say the letter and its associated sound for a child who doesn't recognize letters yet.
  • Ask a child who can recognize letters to identify the one you have drawn.
  • Have your child trace your letter or try one of their own.
Books to Share with Your Toddler
Alphabatics

Alphabatics
Suse McDonald

The Everything Book

The Everything Book
Denise Fleming

Alphathoughts: Alphabet Poems

Alphathoughts: Alphabet Poems
Lee Bennett Hopkins

Hexagon GreenSee Words Everywhere
Print Awareness
Print Awareness is knowing that print has meaning. It includes the awareness of print in the everyday environment and the ability to understand how printed language works. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Encourage your child to draw and scribble, and to tell you what he has drawn or written.
  • Encourage your child to share a book with you.
  • Keep a clip board with paper and crayons in the car.
Activity for You and Your Toddler

Have your child help you prepare a shopping list. Look through the kitchen pantry and refrigerator to see what you need to buy. Spell out each item as you add it to your list. When you get to the supermarket, have your child help you by checking the items off the list as you put them in your cart.

Books to Share with Your Toddler
Hide and Squeak

Hide and Squeak
Ed Heck

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon
By Margaret Wise Brown

Biscuit

Biscuit
Alyssa Capucilli

Hexagon YellowLove Books
Print Motivation
Print Motivation is the interest in and enjoyment of books and reading. Researchers have found that children who enjoy books are more likely to stick with learning to read. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Letting your child see you reading.
  • Taking your child to Reading Ready storytime at the library. Let him pick out a book to take home.
  • Having books where your child can reach them, in his toy box, in the car.
  • Sharing a book with your child before bed each night.
Activity for You and Your Toddler
  • Visit the TumbleBook Library.
  • Read the Eric Hill book Spot Goes to the Farm and act out the different sounds farm animals make.
  • Sing "Old McDonald had a Farm."
Books to Share with Your Toddler
Book!

Book!
Kristine O'Connell George

Lola at the Library

Lola at the Library
Anna McQuinn

Leo the Late Bloomer

Leo the Late Bloomer
Robert Kraus

The Everything Book

The Everything Book
Denise Fleming

Grumpy Bird

Grumpy Bird
Jeremy Tankard

Hexagon OrangeKnow Words
Vocabulary
Vocabulary is knowing the names of things, concepts, feelings and ideas. Having a large vocabulary helps children to recognize words and understand what is being said or read. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Pointing to pictures in a book and naming things they don't see every day, such as a dinosaur, an alligator or a train.
  • Using words related to feelings and concepts (opposites, colors, shapes, texture) even if your child can't say them yet.
  • Using "big" words; not protecting your child from big words.
Activity for You and Your Toddler

Play "I Spy a Letter" by finding objects that start with the first letter of your child's name.

Books to Share with Your Toddler
Kitty's Cuddles

Kitty's Cuddles
Jane Cabrera

Hooray for Fish!

Hooray for Fish!
Lucy Cousins

This Little Chick

This Little Chick
John Lawrence

Lisa's Baby Sister

Lisa's Baby Sister
Anne Gutman

Hexagon RedTell Stories
Narrative Skills
Narrative Skills is the expressive part of language. Narrative skills refer to the ability to describe things and events and to tell and retell stories. These skills help to develop a child’s comprehension. Help your toddler develop this skill by:
  • Asking your child about something specific that happened that day: What was your favorite animal that we saw at the zoo?
  • Having your child draw pictures and telling you about them.
  • Asking "what" questions, to encourage your child to speak.
  • Looking at a family album with your child. Look at different pictures and talk about the people and events in the picture.
Activity for You and Your Toddler

Cut out the characters and / or pictures that appear on the front and back of your child's favorite cereal box or snack. Staple or glue them onto ice cream sticks. Use them as stick puppets to tell a story.

Books to Share with Your Toddler
Freight Train

Freight Train
Donald Crews

Whose Baby Am I?

Whose Baby Am I?
John Butler

Two Little Trains

Two Little Trains
Margaret Wise Brown