Don’t give up! Just try some workarounds to keep an interest in books alive until your child’s drive to explore his physical environment settles down and interest in reading picks up again.
Remember that reading is good for your child’s development on every level—physical, mental, emotional, even spiritual. (Children who love reading may be more open to Bible reading as they grow.)
Here are ten tried-and-true tips for reading to on-the-go toddlers from moms who are doing it.
- Read aloud while your child plays nearby. Comment on the pictures. Sometimes children will come over to look, then go back to playing. Even if not, they’re listening.
- Choose books with flaps to lift, touch-and-feel effects, or something to search for in the pictures. Let children turn the pages.
- Don’t insist on sitting still. Wiggles are OK.
- Read while your child eats a snack or plays in the bathtub.
- Do active finger plays, songs, and rhymes together.
- Let a puppet “read.”
- Keep books in the car to read during waiting times.
- Use audio books during drive times.
- Keep a few books in every toy bin throughout your house. Read just a little, often.
- Include books in nap-time and bedtime snuggles.
Here’s a new book for toddlers and young preschoolers to check out. First Feelings, by Mary Manz Simon (B&H Kids), is a padded hardcover book with 12 different rhyming stories about emotions like feeling happy, mad, afraid, or worried. Each story features a parent page with tips for helping little ones deal with their often overwhelming emotions. You’ll find a list of short memory verses at the back of the book too. And the illustrations are adorable! Want to peek inside? Go here.