It’s been a Journey.
When I first imagined reading out loud to my child, I imagined a quite place, rapt attention, and focused interest. Reality was quick to rear its ugly head 😂.
I was not going to give up on reading out loud, but I was going to need to pivot on my methods.
Ways keep Toddlers attention
- Captive audience: meal time and bedtime became out two target times 🎯. If we get other story times – great – but I know I can read a quick story during snack or dinner time or just before bed.
- Lower expectations: above is a cute picture book with hidden bunnies 🐇 on each page. It is not classic literature, it does not have a deeper meaning but she likes it – so we read it. Over and over.
- Increase entertainment level: I stepped my game by watching librarians and YouTube videos. Not every story needs a full reenactment but some dramatic pauses and voice changes can draw in your listener.
It is worth repeating that you may need to lower your expectations of what reading out loud to your kid looks like in the beginning. It is not unusual to have a child pick out a book then wonder off after turning the first page.
Keep it short and keep trying.
Reading out loud to your child exposes them to new vocabulary and creates opportunity for connection and conversation. Even 5 min a day will provide immense benefits.