Quarantined with a toddler? I feel your pain. I am the mother of a very busy and very limit-pushing little boy. I’m constantly looking for ways to entertain him, and believe it or not, reading is one of our go-to activities. Yes, my crazy two-year-old sits down and reads with me. And he loves it! There is truly something magical about snuggling up together and sharing a story.
Numerous studies confirm the benefits of reading aloud to your children. For example, brain scans show that it strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery (a child’s ability to create pictures in his mind), phonemic awareness (which is closely tied to a child’s ability to learn how to read), and can even improve behaviour.
Reading with your toddler is an amazing way to help them build their vocabulary, learn to express their feelings, and have that one-on-one connection that strengthens our bond with our children. For us, it’s a nice way to break up our busy day with a quiet activity that allows us to connect.
There are so many great children’s authors out there, but I’ve narrowed it down to four tried-and-true favourites that, in my opinion, every toddler will love!
1. Eric Carle
Eric Carle is the illustrator and author of the classic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. His books are interactive and engaging — perfect for holding the attention of a 2-year-old. They’re also filled with his own colourful, captivating artwork. My son loves flipping through the tabs in The Very Hungry Caterpillar and feeling the different textures in My First Busy Book.
2. Sandra Boynton
These books are so much fun! I admit, my son liked them more in early toddlerhood, but around age 12-18 months he couldn’t get enough of Sandra Boynton! One thing I love about her books is that they rhyme. Rhyming can be a really nice way to build phonological awareness, which all kids need before they learn to read. It also shows that words are fun and can be played with! Another great thing about Sandra Boynton’s work is that it’s great for building vocabulary. Some of our favourite Boynton books include Snuggle Puppy, Barnyard Dance, Opposites, and The Going to Bed Book.
3. Alice Schertle
If you haven’t read Little Blue Truck, you’re in for a treat. This series of books is so cute! Kieran can’t get enough of the cute pictures. He loves pointing to everything and asking, “What’s that, Mum?” My favourite part of Little Blue Truck is the message: the power of friendship and the reward of helping others.
4. Margaret Wise Brown
Margaret Wise Brown is best known for her classic book Goodnight Moon. Although we love that book too, our favourite Alice Schertle book is Goodnight, Little One. These are both awesome bedtime stories, but personally, I’m in love with the gorgeous illustrations in Goodnight, Little One.
Read them what they like
These are the authors my toddler and I love the most, but in the end, you know your child best. All that matters is that you read to them daily! Let them lead, and read them what they’re interested in.
What are your toddler’s favourite books? Share in the comments below!