Reading with Active Toddlers? Try this.

Written by Gabrielle Murray

Toddler parents can often feel discouraged by the results of recent studies regarding the benefits of reading, wondering if there will ever come a day when their child sits still long enough to take in a book.

Children who are walking (and running!) are still sponges for information, but are now able to take in their environment at their own (warp-)speed. Brain development is fueled by physical activity, and there are plenty of ways you can keep focus on language development while on the move.

Keep appropriate books accessible.

Your child should have books within reach — durable, tear-proof, nibble-proof (and possibly even waterproof) books chosen just for them. Like all of us, kids are more likely to choose books and reading as an activity if they have ready access, and a lifelong love of reading comes from hands-on experience with books.

Choose books with an interactive element.

If you’re looking to catch your child’s attention, there’s no better way for the curious toddler to become swept up in the story than interactive elements. Rhythm, rhyme, song, and repetition are all incredibly effective ways to keep your child engrossed. Books with tactile experiences, such as textures to touch, mirrors to peek in, and flaps to lift are all excellent ways to get your child hooked on the book.

Read with your child, not just to your child.

If your child’s attention is beginning to wander (or if you’re approaching the six-billionth read of the same board book), open conversation with your child about the story, especially the images. Engage them with questions about the book: “What’s happening in this picture? How do you think this character is feeling? What do you see that makes you say that?” Rich language is the key to language development, so even if your child has few words, they’ll benefit from hearing yours.

Keep it light.

Parents of active children can become concerned that their child is missing out on valuable reading time while they explore, play, and stay up-and-at-’em throughout the day. Don’t worry, grown-ups: physical activity is vital for children during the toddler years while they explore their environment and perfect their gross motor skills. Your two-year-old may not sit for an entire round of Goodnight Moon — and that’s okay! Keep reading light and fun, not compulsory.

Rotate your shelf to keep it fresh.

Your bookshelves should be a living part of your family’s life, which is why Literati makes it easy to find books you and your children love. Rotate out books your child is no longer interested in and add some new, fresh titles from Club Neo, a book club designed specifically for the birth-to-age-three set.

Literati chooses the best books for children in four different age-centered clubs, from infancy through age nine. You’re never obligated to keep any books that don’t make your heart sing, and Literati’s try-before-you-buy model makes it easy to keep what you love and send the rest back.

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