I make it a habit to read to my son at least once a day. Although he is just shy of being two, and doesn’t quite understand each word that I’m reading to him, he still enjoys the attention. With each book, we try to make a game out of it. This helps him learn, imagine, and we’re spending time together.
The main game we play is basically me asking him to find the color blue, or “Where’s the duck? Do you see the duck?” Then he will point to a color, or an object, in the picture. It took him a few times before he got it right, but after reading the same books repeatedly over a few weeks, he started answering each question correctly. After a time, he started pointing to the duck before I even asked, this is when I would introduce a new question, or start on a new book. Since most toddlers and children learn by repetition, we read the same titles on a regular basis. He’s not quite two years old, but he has learned a lot from books, and my help to teach him. Reading stories is great for any age group, no matter how young, so it’s best always to make the time for story-time.
My Top Ten Picks from my Son’s Bookshelf:
Big Bird’s guessing game about Shapes
Just like the title says, Big Bird plays a guessing game about shapes. It’s a fun learning book with several pictures of objects that have that same shape. His questions have simple definitions to make the guessing very easy. This is part of a set of board books that is a great way to help toddlers get ready for preschool.
Dr. Suess’s ABC
Another one by Dr. Suess, great for independent readers, and children that have just learned their ABC’s will also find it entertaining. Since I’m in the process of teaching my son the alphabet, this book comes in handy for a fun way to learn the sequence of the letters. It’s fully illustrated and with the same unusual characters, full of imagination. I guess you can say we’re both fans of Dr. Suess.
Dr. Suess’s One Fish, Two fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
This one is possibly targeted for independent readers; with its short, easy to read words. My son enjoys all the Dr. Suess tales. It’s fully illustrated with unusual characters, very imaginative. And in all the rhyming, you’ll find numbers and colors, and even words that children can pick up on easily.
Quack! Quack! Come Back!
This is our bath time book, it’s a great story to go along with his duck bath toys. On the top of the there are five little ducks, one to a page. As you read, “Quack! Quack! Come back!” and then turn the page, you’ll see one duck at a time cross to the other side. Read it to the end to get all five ducks to come back. It’s a perfect storybook for any age, and a nice way for toddlers and preschoolers to learn how to count to five.
Get Up and Go Songs
Featuring the beloved Elmo character, this is an interactive musical book that plays five songs that my son likes to “get up and go” to. Each page has him dancing and laughing. He also likes to match the picture with the button, it’s like a little game to him and he is so proud that he can match them correctly.
This is a book about Clifford the Big Red Dog getting ready for bed. He needs his blanket, a drink, and then finally some kisses and hugs from his mom. And now he can get some sleep, knowing he has everything he needs. It’s a wonderful little story that I read to my son as I lay him down for the night, and I always end it just like the book, with kisses and hugs.
Itsy Bitsy Spider and other Clap-along Rhymes
One of the great things about this pick is that it comes with a CD that you can play along with the book. Dancing and clapping along, this book/CD combo helps to develop listening skills with wonderful music and well-loved rhymes. Each page is full of colorful illustrations that any child, and parent, will find this as one of their top five.
Five Wishing Stars
“High above the flock at night, five wishing stars glow so bright.” And they really do! Five little stars that glow in the dark pop up from the page. It’s a countdown book that when you turn a page, it takes away a star, letting you count down from five to one. I read this to my son with the lights turned off, and a small battery powered lantern to see by, that way we can see the stars glow.
As with most infants to toddlers, they love to touch and feel. This interactive book features animal tails, cute and cuddly, and all kinds of animals. Just one of the features includes fuzzy and scratchy tails. There are also flaps and tabs, that can be pulled and to move the tails, even a scratch and sniff skunk.
Just like the cartoon, Toot and Puddle, Puddle paints his way through the alphabet with lovely pictures for each letter. It’s not only an ABC learning book, but also a great story. As Puddle teaches Otto, he teaches the reader too. Or the one being read to.