Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABooks are one of the best educational tools for toddlers for several reasons. Reading to your child promotes learning and literacy, encourages creative thinking, and it is wonderful time for you to spend together. However, if you’re simply reading the words on the page you’re wasting an opportunity.

It’s easy to underestimate toddlers, even with books. I’m guilty of avoiding longer or more complicated books or avoiding explanations over new vocabulary, but these can be real learning opportunities.

Pointing out tough vocabulary in books is the perfect way to improve literacy as well as comprehension. Using the illustrations as your guide can really enhance the story for your little one.

And then when you read it again (because you will read it again), you can ask your child comprehension questions to build greater understanding, such as “Do you remember what happens next?”

Reading just the words in a child’s book is not exciting as an adult. But asking about the character’s emotions and predicting what happens next makes stories more exciting for the both of you and offers your child a better learning experience.