Baby Time: Tips for Reading Books to an Active Baby or Toddler

We've all been there...a book in hand but no one is interested.  We've read all the benefits of the importance of reading to our baby and toddler, but how can we when they are on the go?  At times not even wanting or willing to sit still for a moment or better yet they might even take the book from your hands and leave the room.  We're thinking, really are they getting anything from this?

My advice...

KEEP READING!  Don't give UP! 

Babies and Toddlers are meant to be explorers and spend most of their time discovering.  If you keep trying to read with your baby I promise you will have that magical moment when they want to sit and read with you.  One day you will catch them sitting down with a book, turning the pages, and even "talking" to the pictures.  Eventually they even start to get books from the book basket or book shelf and crawl or walk to you and sit in your lap, ready for you to read and share the world of books

Ask these questions for your baby as you select the next book...


Can I Move It? Can I Feel It? Can I Hear it?
Can I see a baby? Can I see my family? Can I see bright colors?

Can I see real objects? Can I move and sing with it?
Can I read it again and again?

  When you're able to answer YES these questions, 
you will find that your active baby or toddler will be 
a little bit more willing to pause and notice books
and start to read in their very own way. 

Strategies for Reading to Babies and Toddlers

  • Make a variety of books available 
  • Board Books with bright colors
  • Board Books with real images
  • Board Books with things to move
  • Fabric Books with sounds
  • Fabric Books with things that move
  • Picture Books with Family Members
  • Books on tape
  • Books with CD
  • Books about songs
  • Create Book Nooks around the house
  • Have a routine for reading time
  • Ask Questions
  • Change the sound in your voice as you read
  • Join a Baby Story time at the Library
  • Check out Board books from the Library
  • Find a favorite and read it again and again... they love the language of a good book! 

Find New Places to Read

  • Dinner table reading-eat and listen
  • Laying down reading
  • Snuggle in my lap reading
  • Car reading
  • Restaurant reading
  • Stroller reading
  • Kids chair reading
  • Book bag reading
Set aside time for reading every day with your baby — even if it's only a few minutes.

One day you will find your little one in love with reading! 

Books for Babies
I saved you some time and found some great books through Amazon Associates for your little ones! 


TammySF. said...

I totally agree!! You can never read enough:) Yes, it may seem like at first their not getting it or not listening, but they their own way. Great Post!!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks! My first two children LOVED books and would snuggle all the time to read them. My last child has just found books and loves reading them in her little chair and one her own terms. It's been a different journey and I figured I'd share it with others. They all find that magic of books in their very own way.

Sarah D. said...

Awesome me inspiration to keep trying (or forcing hehe)

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks Sarah. Whenever we can involve many of our senses at one time it's a good thing! Happy Reading!

Marissa@landofonceuponatime said...

Great advice. I love how you have categorized your suggestions into a questions - very clever! Will share.

Trisha @ Inspiration Laboratories said...

Great tips for reading to little ones! My friend who is a speech-language pathologist helped me write a series of posts on reading to young children. You hit on some of the same things we did. :)

Daniela said...

As a parent and educator, I think as both in all of you I'm sure. Yet...I found some tips I hadn't considered before on this post, ones that remind me about the needs of my four-month as opposed to my interpretation of her needs. Thanks!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks for sharing Marissa! The questions are something I had to remind myself of as my littlest one kept walking away from me at story time. Now she's in love with books!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks Trisha, just hoped over and check them out. Building a great foundation for reading is the same across the board. The more they read, the more they can read and beging to learn and imagine!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks Daniela! I'm sure there are a few more things I haven't considered yet either, it's always a balancing act to see what works best for each child in their own special way. If you have any more ideas, we'd love to hear them!

CacheyMama said...

These are wonderful suggestions. I just did a post called 10 Literacy Ideas for Toddlers and one of the things was about interactive books. My 15 month old is currently LOVING books. He picks them up and brings them to us to read one after another. I am so thrilled and hope he continues to always love books and reading :)

PragmaticMom said...

My kids loved touchy-feely board books, pop up books, and pull the tab/lift the flap books when they were toddlers. Some favorites:

Maisy series by Lucy Cousins
Anything by Sandra Boynton
Goodnight Moon -- look for the mouse on every color spread
Goodnight Gorilla -- look for the balloon and banana on every spread
The Most Amazing ABC Book by Robert Crowthers
Anything by Eric Carle

Such a great age to read with kids! Sigh!

Hamrsark said...

I remember the frustration of never "finishing" a book! Then again, eventually, it was FAR overpowered by the joy of her jumping down grabbing a book, sitting through the whole thing and jumping down to get another one!!! Sometimes, we'd end up reading 10 - 12 books before boring of this activity!!!
She is now two and often brings me books for HER to read to ME!!! Nothing could make me prouder...for now!

Kat said...

Neat. I wanted to add that toddlers are really into domestic mimicry: repeating the things they see other people do at home. That includes reading. If a kid sees a parent engrossed in reading regularly they will want to be Just Like Dad/Mom and "read" something of their own. So in addition to having a variety of childrens books around, it's important for a parent to enjoy reading and own grown up reading material (newspapers, magazines and books).

dadsthewayilikeit said...

Really liked reading this. Our son is only eight months old but he's already joined our local library.


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