Need to Know:
- At this language stage, children are beginning to develop pre-literacy skills. Pre-literacy skills are concepts and skills which establish the basis for reading. This includes identification of letters, the awareness of sounds, and understanding common print concepts (print goes from left to right and from up to down on a page).
- Developmentally a todler wants to explore the world, not sit down to listen to a story. The key to a successful story time is finding the right time and the right book. Take advantage of moments when your child is sleepy and running out of steam to snuggle and share a book. Just before nap or before bedtime works well!
- Choose books that reflect a child’s own world and interests.
- At this stage, children will begin to repeat and predict books with repetitive lines. Pause right before the line or word to allow the child to fill in the next part. They love feeling like they are reading!
- Don’t ask too many questions. Book reading is a time to take turns and have fun. It’s not a time to test your child’s knowledge.
- As you read through a book focus on one or two new words/concepts to teach your child. Use repetition, change of pitch, and gestures to grab your child’s attention.Example: In the book Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak I may choose to focus teaching my child about action words. Right from the beginning of the book when Max is running down the stairs, it’s easy to capture my child’s attention by acting out “running”. Run in place with your child, have them run around the room and then run back to your reading place. Use the new words you teach through books throughout the rest of the day in different contexts. Kids learn best through lots of repetition.
- In order to help your child’s comprehension of a story, link real life situations to the story. As an example, if the book you are reading is about going to the grocery store (like in Llama Llama, Mama Mad at Mama), you can make the connection by talking about reasons why you go to the grocery store and what types of food you purchase. Be sure to only mention one or two real life events. The shorter your explanations the better.
Books to Love:
- Books with fun rhythm, repetition and rhymes- Chick a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr, There Was an Old Lady by Pam Adams, Ten out of Bed by Penny Dale, Time for Bed by Mem Fox (my favorite bedtime book)
- Theme books- Pick a common toddler theme and your guaranteed to find a bunch of books about that theme. Right now my oldest son loves dinosaurs so here is what we’ve been reading lately: Dinosaur vs the Potty by Bob Shea, How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Dinner by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague (the whole series is great!), I’m a T. Rex by Dennis Shealy and Brian Biggs
- Books that tell a short story- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Upcoming Weeks on Mommy Minute Monday:
• Did you know May is Better Hearing and Speech Month? Over the next 3 weeks I will be dedicating each Monday to a various communication disorder in the So You Think Your Kid series. Each week I’ll be focusing on speech, language, and feeding red flags that may indicate your child should be evaluated by a Speech-Language-Pathologist.
• I’ll be wrapping up the series with my very first vlog where I’ll break down what to except during a speech and language evaluation.
• IPad apps that can be useful in growing a child’s speech and language skills.