The toddler years are an important age to share your love of books and reading with your child. These are the formative years where children get the foundation that will last them the rest of their lives. The memories you form with your children during the toddler years can have a huge impact on their future. With that in mind, the reading choices you make are very important. You should, of course, read to your children on a regular basis. This not only gives them memories, it also helps them with essential language skills, greater understanding of other people, and helps them to relate to learning and reading in a positive way. When children learn to love to read t a young age they are more successful in school and have a lifelong love for learning. Here are some great books that you can share with your toddlers during reading time:
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle –This classic toddler book is full of useful teaching material and also captures the children’s attention with a simple, fun story and great illustrations. You can teach toddlers their colors, the names of food, and even the life cycle of a butterfly in this classic story.
2. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst–This is a great book to help toddlers relate to other people’s feelings. When they can see that Alexander has a bad day and how he feels about it they can learn how to handle negative feelings in a positive way and also how attitude affects others. It is also a chance for you to show them that a bad day is not the end of the world and everyone, even them, can have a bad day and get through it.
3. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak–I love the illustrations in this book. Not only are the illustrations colorful and imaginative, but children can learn that monsters are not always scary. They can also learn the value of imagination and making friends. I like to make funny voices when I read this book to children to really make the characters come to life.
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss –Any book by Dr. Seuss is a toddler favorite. Not only are the books colorful and the illustrations crazy, but the stories themselves are inventive and the rhymes make them fun to read and listen to. I know that many children end up reading their first book on their own from a Dr. Seuss classic, mostly because they have memorized the whole thing!
5. Corduroy by Don Freeman –The sweet tale of a teddy bear in search of his missing button in a big, empty department store; toddlers will have fun relating to his search and discovering along with him all the secrets of an empty store. A great look and search book for kids with an adorable main character.
6. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman –This cute story will have your toddler answering before you can even read the sentence. As the little bird goes from animal to animal looking for its mother, kids will have fun identifying the animals and telling you why they could not possibly be the bird’s mother.
7. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff–The story of what can happen if you give in just a little, toddlers will relate to the tiny mouse asking for more and more and more. You can even teach them the value of saying no to people and why they should not get upset when you tell them no.
8. Adventures of Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel–These simple books may not be the most colorful, but they are certainly fun to read. Frog and Toad may not be pretty, but they are great friends and teach valuable lessons like not putting off your work and not forgetting to be nice to others.
9. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry–This is a great book for vehicle crazy boys. There are all sorts of fun cars, trucks, airplanes, and tractors in this colorful book. Children can have fun identifying the cars and finding Goldbug hidden on each page.
10. Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon–I love, love, love this book. But, then again, it does feature my favorite animal in a positive light. While bats are usually portrayed as scary creatures of darkness, this fun and beautifully illustrated children’s story shows the differences between bats and birds. When a baby bat is separated from her mother and falls into a bird’s nest, she finds out what it means to be yourself. Even though she is different from her bird brothers, they are still family in the end.
11. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf –The sweet story about being yourself no matter what others think is a great lesson to teach your toddler. When Ferdinand does not want to fight like the other bulls he ends up alone, but it does not matter to him. He is happy smelling the flowers. However, when he is picked for the bull fight everyone fears he will change his tune. Surprisingly he stays true to himself and wins the day through peace.
12. Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown –This repetitive but calming book is great for the bedtime routine. Children will have a good time telling each object, animal and person goodnight and the calm, melodic words will get them in the right frame of mind for a good night’s rest. You might get sick of reading it though!
13. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper–This classic children’s book is one that teaches a valuable lesson: being persistent. The little train should not be able to accomplish all it does, and yet because it believes in itself it makes it up the big hill and successfully arrives at its destination with its cargo intact. A great story for toddlers to learn the value of self confidence.
14. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola–If you want to expose your children to a different culture, you can try this classic Russian story about an old woman with a magic cauldron. When she is called away she warns her young apprentice, a little boy, not to mess with the magic. He does not listen and ends up flooding the whole town with pasta. A great tale that will have kids laughing and learning the importance of being obedient.
15. Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott –Here is another culturally rich story, this time from Africa. The story of the spider’s journey through many trials and the rich African artwork will keep kids interested. This story is a very old tale that has been passed down orally through many generations and has a very deep history behind it.
These are just a few of the many, many books you can read with your toddler. As I said before, toddler age is the perfect time to get your children interested in reading and make sure that they become lifetime readers and lovers of learning. Even if they want to read the same book every night they can still learn from it. Make reading time a fun and enjoyable experience and try to encourage your children to find new books for you to read together. A trip to the library is a great way to find new books that your child will enjoy without having to spend a lot of money. Even if they only want to read books about superheroes, cars, or princesses, any reading is a good thing. You can work on content appreciation as they get older!
This guest post was provided by Allison Foster. She has a solid writing resume that includes blogging both personally and professionally, and regular freelance writing and photography jobs. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with www.nannyclassifieds.com.
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