Tips For Reading To Your Toddler (How To Read With Your Kids)

September 20, 2016

*Special thanks to Incredibundles for sponsoring and inspiring today's discussion.
I'm mostly writing this post for those who aren't preschool/kindergarten teachers, and have no clue how to read a story to little kids. (Which was me before I was trained in it) and also my husband who has needed training since having our first baby who inevitably adores reading!

You see, simply picking up a book that has two paragraphs of text isn't going to cut it for a baby that's 16 months old or even a three-year-old. They have short attentions pans and limited vocabulary (for now) so it's important to focus on attainable skills! The books that I am reading to G in these photos are from her Incredibundles box! I can't wait to share more about Incredibundles below, but for now, keep reading for some quick, easy tips for reading to your toddler at home!
Always look at the pictures first. Let your toddler find the things that catch their eye each time you turn the page. G always points to the trees or birds since those are two new words she's learned lately!

Try paraphrasing text when it's a long story. This is an acquired skill for sure, haha. I quickly scan the text and paraphrase it into one or two sentences, just so they understand the main idea. When G was super tiny I completely ignored the text!
Point out colors of items. An example would be "Look at that red car!" versus saying "Look at the car!" It's also something that requires training but definitely becomes second nature after awhile.

Try to point out objects (especially ones that encourage the use of new vocabulary) G always points to certain things because she knows them, but I like to show her new objects and words too, so I let her show me what she wants, then I try to show her a new thing on the page with a new word!
*The tips below are for older kiddos, but so helpful when reading to pre-school aged/kindergarten aged kids!

Ask questions when you're reading to kids older than 3 or 4. Asking questions while you read is definitely important for older children. Some will be super into it and some won't - it depends on your child, but it doesn't hurt to try and cultivate conversation about the story!

Ask OPEN-ENDED questions. An example of this is "why do you think the boy doesn't want to go to bed?" versus, "Did the boy go to bed?" Basically, open-ended questions allow for elaborate answers, and not just yes or now answers. Those don't allow for critical thinking or imagination.

After you're finished reading, ask your child about the story. Ask them to recall the information by inquiring about their favorite part of the story. You can share your favorite part afterwards, then maybe discuss a few things you may have learned if it was a longer story with a plot, etc. Basiclaly any extra conversation about it leads to them really processing and understanding the story!
Note: When reading with kids, every single story doesn't have to be a "lesson" these are just tips for when you are reading with purpose! It's important to encourage them to like reading so let them sit with the book independently too! It's all about balance!
Like I said earlier, the books we're reading in this post are from a super cute little gift package from! There are so many little packages you can get for new or expecting parents. They come pre-wrapped with a card and everything so they are ready to be gifted or opened upon arrival!

It's basically a super chic and easy way to not have to go put together your own package. Incredibundles does it for you! In this post we are feature the "Baby's First Books" bundle, but they also have diaper bundles, bath bundles, sleep bundles, and my personal favorite: organic bundles!

These are great gift options for grandparents/aunts/uncles to give as gifts and an amazing way to welcome the new baby into the world!
Hopefully these tips were helpful to you! Let me know if they were in the comments below!

Win a $50 gift card of your own to use as a gift or buy something for your little one! Giveaway is U.S. only and runs for 2 weeks (until Oct. 6). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo. L


  1. These are such awesome tips! I gotta try them out on my niece!
    - Jessica
    Miss Moore Style

  2. These are such great tips! I love this!


  3. Such great tips for young kids!

  4. Thanks for sharing these tips! Mason struggles sitting still for books so I definitely need to work on paraphrasing instead of trying to read word for word! And how cute are those book bundles!? Love them!

  5. Reading is SO important! It's so great to start at an early age too.

  6. these are GREAT tips!! i cherish reading time with my kiddos

  7. So many great books! Reading will be super important when I have kids one day... a long long time away haha :)

    xo, Kristina
    Medicine & Manicures

  8. This is so sweet, and really nice to read through as it's helpful to know how to read to kids whether we have our own or not. I'll definitely be reading to a child at some point in time, so this is lovely! xx Adaleta Avdic

  9. Great tips! She is seriously the cutest little thing I have ever seen!!

    xo Ashley

  10. these are great tips babe! she is adorable!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  11. I needed this! Sometimes I get so wrapped up that i forget about focusing our time to books!

  12. I love all of these tips!! Harper is almost impossible to read to, so I love the idea of paraphrasing and pointing out pictures!

  13. I remember these days when my kids were younger. So sweet!!


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