Which Toddler Stories are Best?
Choosing quality toddler stories and sharing them regularly is very important to your child’s cognitive development. Listening to stories helps your child’s speech and is a building block for learning to read later.
Fortunately most little ones love to be read toddler stories especially if they’re read to ‘on demand’ as well as at bedtime. Sometimes it’s amazing how long a little toddler wants to sit and listen, often wanting the book repeated many times. Toddlers love familiarity for security and the repetition helps them cognitively too.
As you may have discovered… toddler books for one-year-olds (and some two-year-olds) need to be tough! These enthusiastic little learners are still mastering self control and often overestimate how much strength is needed to lift a flap or turn a page.
Since it’s beneficial for even little tots to have free access to at least a few books, those need to be made of either thick cardstock or cloth. There are some lovely cloth books and they do last longer, but maybe that’s because they don’t seem to be as popular.
That’s why I’ve discussed the durability of each book as well as the reaction of toddlers to the stories in my book reviews for one-year-olds.
Paper or hardcover child story books usually last much longer in the hands of two-year-olds though. So we use both board and paper books for their book corner at nursery (day care center). Since there’s so many children’s books to choose from, would you like some book reviews for two-year-olds to help you decide?
Lift the flap books are a real treat. One-year-olds find the interaction that these books provide very exciting. Watch out though, the flaps are the first to get ripped. Maybe these books could be brought out only when you share them together. We have a high shelf for the more fragile books including paper ones. We often get asked, even by one-year-olds, to read a book from there and they know exactly which one they want too.
Feely books are another great way for even the smallest child to interact with the book. Toddlers like looking at pictures but touching and doing takes the learning and enjoyment to another level. Also, most books including textures are durable enough for toddlers to ‘read’ without close supervision.
What about the content?
Most one-year-olds and a few two-year-olds enjoy toddler books with labeled pictures of objects or actions. Even though all books you read to your toddler help their language development, these simple books are particularly good if you’re worried about late talking. You can also use these to extend your toddler’s vocabulary by describing the objects in detail.
Would you like know which of these kind of books have the best features? Check out educational toddler book reviews.
One-year-olds prefer very simple stories, with clear uncluttered pictures on each page. Story lines about parts of a child’s routine such as eating, bathtime or getting dressed are very popular. Another favourite theme for little tots is finding things.
Two-year-olds enjoy slightly more complex stories about families, outings and new experiences, such as seeing a dentist, having a new baby in the family or using the potty.
It’s easy to do these days, but try to have some characters that are from different cultures and backgrounds. This satisfies their prominent goal to learn about and make sense of the world around them.
Another great subject for toddler stories is, of course, animals. Young children of all ages are fascinated by what they do, what sounds they make, where they live etc. Maria Montessori taught that we should provide toddler stories which are going to answer these questions truthfully.
With that in mind, be wary of ‘animal characters’. One minute we point to a sheep and tell the child that it says ‘baa’ then a moment later we’re reading them a story about a sheep who’s fully clothed, walking on hind legs and talking like a human. It’s common practice but I think we should step back for a moment. Look at the whole picture. Then step into your little one’s shoes (who cannot reason until six years old) and try to see it from their perspective. I think it’d be confusing.
I’m sure you’ve found that toddlers, like most children, are attracted to TV characters. I think that the main attraction to these characters is that they’re familiar. It’s a fact that young children love repetition. I can understand that in this busy, ever-changing world, little ones can find stability in seeing the same character many times a day, on TV, toys, clothing, bedroom decor, adverts, in shops, magazines and books.
Fortunately some of them depict and symbolize the real world that toddlers are trying to understand. It is a recognised fact that children under six years old cannot truly comprehend that fantasy is not real. I feel it’s harder for young children to understand and make sense of world when they are surrounded by fake characters.
That said, there are lots of charming toddler stories that beautifully enlighten children.
Storing Toddler Books
I like to just put a few books out on a low shelf at a time and then rotate them, except for a couple of favourites. This keeps the selection interesting yet manageable for a tot.
To help your toddler’s self-esteem and independence, you could teach him to lay his books flat on the shelf, first by modeling. It is easiest for toddlers if there is just one layer and there’s spaces in between the books. This also means that your little one can easily see the selection. A bonus feature is that it’s kinder on the books too.
I hope you enjoy cuddling up with your toddler and reading a delightful toddler story.