The Importance of Books
During those quiet times, be sure to read. There is no question that books play an integral part in tutoring toddlers. "Reading books to toddlers promotes language development," says Dunkley. "[And] it is further enhanced through talking about the story or pictures."
"We read a lot," says Ruzich. "And I ask Ian questions about each page or picture. He points things out and names similar items from real life."
Maximize the moment by acting out the tale using finger puppets or cardboard cutouts. Toddlers love dramatic play and dress up. Choose parts and engage the whole family in a theatrical version of the story. "When they were toddlers my children and I acted out stories like The Three Billy Goats Gruff," Edwards remembers. "It helped them with recall and perception."
Realistic picture books also introduce young children to a wider world. Non-fiction selections can spark an interest in nature, science, and culture.