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7 Benefits of Reading to Your Toddler

I’ve written quite a bit on my personal blog about reading to my son and even done a few round-ups on Babble on his favorite books, my favorite books, etc. It shouldn’t be a surprise because I’m a bookworm myself – I’m currently on vacation at the beach and after five days, I’m on my third book. But my love of reading started years and years ago, when I was a toddler curled up on my mother’s lap. I remember leaning against her belly, made soft by three big babies, and listening to her voice read me Richard Scarry and the Adventures of Little Brown Bear.

These were the 1980′s, before the era of stay-at-home-moms with flashcards but I still knew my letters and read independently in preschool. I wasn’t some child prodigy – truly, my intelligence is average at best – but I owe my adoration of the written word to the tireless hours my mother spent reading out loud to me.

Inspired by the books I’ve been reading this week, here are 7 benefits of to reading to your toddler:

  • Go ahead, make a bookworm! 1 of 8
    READING

    You know that reading to your toddler is a good practice, but do you know why? Click through for all the benefits to reading to your child!

  • It can prevent reading problems in the future. 2 of 8
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     Did you know that most elementary school reading problems can be prevented by reading to your toddler? The exposure to books and stories and reading basics that being read to creates can prevent issues in older children. This will make school and homework less of a challenge in the coming years. Reap what you sow, parents!

    source: kidshealth.org

  • Reading develops language. 3 of 8
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    Not only does reading give word exposure and correct pronunciation to toddlers, but reading naturally teaches children that words are made up of smaller sounds, known as phonemic awareness. Children that are read to are also more likely to ask if they can be read to - not just books, but street signs, food labels, and posters - which grows their vocabulary.

    source: kidshealth.org

    source: pbs.org

  • It can help with transitions. 4 of 8
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    Transitioning from babyhood to toddlerhood can be challenging and scary for your child. Reading stories that she can identify with - a girl who is afraid of the potty or a duck that doesn't quack - can make her feel less alone and more confident that she can reach those milestones, just like the characters in the book.

    source: kidshealth.org

  • Put down the flashcards. 5 of 8
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    Reading helps toddlers and preschoolers recognize letters. Take your time while reading to point out letters (maybe just focus on "A" one week, then "B" the next week).

    source: kidshealth.org

  • It grows your relationship. 6 of 8
    iStock_000012358376XSmall

    Your toddler or preschooler is always on the move, am I right? Gone are the morning snuggles and evening rocking chair sessions and as a momma, I miss that. But if I pull out a book, my son will crawl into my lap and be still for as long as I will read to him. We giggle over pictures and he lays his head on my shoulder and it's as close to those quiet baby moments as I'll get from him anymore.

    source: earlymoments.com

  • It creates discipline. 7 of 8
    iStock_000011206869XSmall

    Squirmy toddlers sitting still? Distracted toddlers focusing for the ten pages of a story book? That's creating discipline! Even better, the lessons of learning to sit for an entire story and the patience to see something through to the end will carry into the rest of his life. It's a valuable lesson for homework, sports, and even relationships.

    source: pbs.org

    source: earlymoments.com

  • It develops logical thinking. 8 of 8
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    As you read the story (probably for the fiftieth time), your child is learning the elements of story - the setting, the problem, the resolution - and he's therefore learning logical processes. He's recognizing cause and effect, plus lessons in good judgment as books are a risk-free environment. Reading also teaches abstract ideas by his relation to the story that isn't actually real.

    source: earlymoments.com

Do you read to your toddler? What are your favorite books to read together? Do you love it or does it feel more like a chore?

 

More from BA:

Easy ways to encourage toddler independence without losing your sanity.

Weird things toddlers actually eat that aren’t chicken nuggets.

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook.

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