Reading To Toddlers

Free Attention Skills Checklist 

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reading to toddlers

Reading To Toddlers can be Tricky

When some parents talk about reading to toddlers some report “my toddler loves books” while others say “reading to toddlers is like a wrestling match! These parents report they would enjoy reading to toddlers if their toddler was interested.

I frequently hear comments such as:

He is too little to sit still enough to read.

He prefers to run around than read

She just wants to turn the page and won’t read the book.

She just wants the same book and it gets so boring (to who?)

One of the best ways to develop a love of books is to start reading baby books from birth. The ideas of how to encourage a toddler to read books are similar so take at took at the book reading tips for parents on the baby book tips link.

However Key ways parents can increase a toddler’s interest in reading include:

  • Make it fun & make it short – if you enjoy it, they will enjoy it
  • Remember you don’t have to always read word for word on the page!
  • Watch for when they are bored of listening to the words and change to just finding pictures together or chatting about the pages
  • Don’t worry if they keep interrupting to point to something they recognise in the pictures – this is actually fantastic for them to do at this age.
  • Sit them on something they can move on a little bit while looking at the toddler’s books e.g. jig or rock slightly in your lap, sit on a squishy bean bag together, sit them on your lap on a swing, do a big physical game before sitting down to look at toddler’s books.
  • Change your voice tone, loudness, pitch, use excited or exaggerated exclamations (e.g. WOW, OHHH LOOOOK! More!, THERE and there!), read in funny voices, make all the animal or car noises.
  • Point to the pictures and gesture/ role play the actions (e.g. jump like the kangaroo, wiggle on the ground like a snake).

Children's Books Educational Resources 

Use these Teaching and Talking Tips while reading. The download helps boost speech, language and literacy skills while reading

In these downloads you will receive pages++ of information and tips broken down into an easy to read and understand format that will inspire you with ideas that you can put into practice today.

Teaching & Talking Tips: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 



Teaching & Talking Tips: Where's My Teddy by Jex Smith



Focus On Objects eBook

Children's books

Children's Books: Focus On Objects

A children's book that talks at your child's speaking level and grows with them!

     Parents without the skills of adapting books to the language level of a specific child may loose the child's FOCUS and the child's opportunity to learn from the story. If a story is delivered at a language level that is too high or too low for the child to fully engage in or learn from story. The book has 4 levels that you can read to them OR Dr Sandra McMahon, Speech Pathologist's voice over can be provided with a push of a button. This means the children can listen over and over. They see the words grow into sentences and have the words read for them. Great for early reading skills too!

​     This eBook is actually spoken by Dr Sandra McMahon to coach you on how to change the words, the tone and the intonation of what you are reading. This eBook is delivered at 4 different levels: Children with No Words, Children with Some Words, Children with 2-3 Word Sentences & Children Developing Longer Sentences. The book grows with your child.

Mr Tongue Story eBook

children's books

Children's Books: Mr Tongue Story

A book that encourages children to FOCUS on imitation of tongue & lip movements - Ideal foundation skills for speech, language & eating.

     FOCUSING on tongue and lip movements will increase a child's awareness of their tongue and lip movements. The story focusing on the range of tongue movements as well as the coordination & speech of the movements. Awareness of tongue movements can assist when directions are given to encourage imitation of correct speech sounds. However the book works on more than just "tongue exercises". Children are encouraged to copy movements at the mouth level. This can help in developing the pre-speech skill of imitation.

     Social skills can be boosted as well as children are encouraged to look at people's faces, tongue and lips which can build eye contact. An increased general awareness of tongue & lips movements can also help the pre-speech skill of general attention as turn-taking is embedded in the copying routines.

TOddler Talking

Online Program

See how Focus on Toddler Talk can Start Boosting your child's Speech and Language today!

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Contact Us 

Contact us and an experienced Speech Pathologist will answer. We are here to help!

Ideas for Home

Early Intervention Activities, Resources & Ideas for home. 

when do children start to talk


Developmental Milestones & Online Checklists 

when do children start to talk

Games & Toys 

Educational Games and Toys.  With Printables!

When do children start to talk


Educational Book resources with Printables 

Braid & Bernstein (2015). Improved Cognitive Development in Preterm Infants with Shared Book Reading. Neonatal Netw. 2015; 34(1):10-7.Montag, J. et al. (2015) The Words Children Hear: Picture Books and the Statistics for Language Learning.Sep 26(9): 1489-96.

Sandra McMahon

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