The first five years of a child’s life are critical. It is during this time that 90% of brain development takes place. Thus, it’s essential to habituate them to activities that add to their growth. Reading can be a beneficial ritual, and starting early is always a good thing.
Importance of reading for a toddler
The act of reading has several educational as well as social benefits. As a part of the daily routine, it can help your child in several ways.
- Boosts imagination – One of the significant advantages of reading is opening a window for the child. They learn to imagine and consequently also become creative.
- Better Cognitive Development – For the overall development of a child, sharp cognitive skills are a prerequisite. These include the ability to think, understand, learn and remember information.
- Enhances Language skills – Reading to children can help them understand the language better. They get exposed to new words and novel expressions.
- Helps with concentration – Storytelling is the best way to catch a child’s attention. Expressive narration can help them concentrate better, a skill that is crucial for success in life.
- Builds a love for reading – Books make our lives better. Reading can be therapeutic and a great habit in life. When a child gets habituated with reading from an early age, possibilities are, they might get a lifelong ritual which is extremely useful.
- Creates a bond – Reading to or with your toddler can help them bond with you better. In a busy world, parents often miss out on quality time with their children. However, a daily custom of reading can enable you to spend some time with them and that too in a productive and fun way.
Top 8 reading books for preschoolers
1. There’s No Place Like Space
What can be more fascinating to a child than space? It is the single most cool thing to learn about and children love it. This book is non-fiction filled with information about the planets, stars, and extraterrestrial bodies. It is beautifully animated with bright colors that help retain a child’s concentration. Reading it aloud to your toddler will introduce them to several new words as well.
2. Big Shark, Little Shark
Beautifully illustrated with impressive graphics and attractive colors, this book is appropriate for children acquainted with the alphabet. The story revolves around a giant shark and a little shark and their challenges while acquiring food. There are no more than two new words on each page. This feature is beneficial for anybody who is just beginning to read. It is also morally appropriate as it tells the story of co-existence between the little shark and the big shark.
3. Green Eggs and Ham
Dr.Seuss is classic. Depriving your children of it should be considered a crime! Green Eggs and Ham is the perfect book for a preschool kid to learn to read because of its smooth and straightforward flowing. The characters make learning easy and fun. Along with it, Dr.Seuss’ trademark rhymes also helps in introducing kids to the wonderful world of rhythm and verse. This book will help your child to gain confidence because of the uncomplicated nature and undemanding structure.
4. Ten Apples Up On Top!
This one is a hardcover picture book that will teach kids much more than just reading. Bright colors and funny characters make it appealing to toddlers and helps them retain their concentration. In the book, three animal friends, a lion, a tiger, and a dog balance apples on their heads. Through the lucid narration, children can learn to count up to ten. The illustrations of the animals are so friendly that it makes basic math so fun!
5. Pete the Cat
As a parent, it is a challenge to get over the anxiety of sending your kid to preschool for the first time. This book might help with that. Pete, the cat rocks in his school shoes and introduces the readers to a school. Throughout the book, Pete explores the different parts and sections of the school such as the library, the playground, the lunchroom, the auditorium, and many more places. The narration is simple and accompanied by gorgeous illustrations. It successfully makes the idea of going to school fun while teaching your child to read.
6. May I Please Have a Cookie?
This book is one of the best ones to teach your child essential manners. The storyline is simple and contains two characters – Alfie, the alligator, and his mother. The conflict is that Alfie wants freshly baked cookies but can’t figure out how to do it. He tries to grab one, fish for it, and even tries to role play as a cookie inspector. When nothing works, he learns the power of the word “please.” Through the simple narration, children can learn to read and the art of requesting something in a well-mannered way all at once.
7. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
Children get introduced to the outside world through this hilarious tale. In the story, Trixie and his daddy take a trip to the local laundromat. The vivid illustrations and the simple words make it easy for children to read. The story gets interesting when Trixie realizes that he lost Somebunny, his soft toy. It brings in adventure, and the quest for a lost favorite toy is relatable to almost all kids.
8. All by Myself
This paperback picturebook will help your toddler learn to read and get organized and self-dependent. The protagonist of the story is Little Critter, who performs all his tasks himself, be it tying his shoes, getting ready for school, or coloring a picture. Filled with life lessons, this can be an excellent way to introduce your child to the concept of taking care of their selves.
Points to remember
As mentioned before, toddlers gain the most from a habit of reading. However, there are certain things that one should keep in mind when they read to or with their child.
- Make sure to read aloud and focus on the phonic of each word.
- Help your child to identify similar words and explain the meanings. This helps with building vocabulary.
- Keep sessions short and simple. Give them time to learn, understand and fall in love with reading instead of forcing them into it.
- Encourage them to read out words by breaking them into syllables. Patiently push them to figure it out themselves.
- Observe them and find out which part they are finding challenging.
- Involve them in the process of selection of books.
- Add dramatic elements and include your toddler to play a part.
- Have a daily routine but don’t make it too rigid.
- Don’t limit yourself to your couch or the bed. Readout to them on a beach, in the garden, or while in a car. This helps the child in associating reading with different spaces.
A book can be a child’s first getaway to the world of imagination as well as understanding. The cultivation of the habit of reading helps in the overall development of children. Through books, kids can build their knowledge about proper and accepted behavior and various life lessons. It also helps one to build concentration. Reading along with a caregiver can help in bonding and also enhance speech and cognitive abilities.