Through the first year of their life, reading can be a bonding experience between child and parent. From around 12 months, parents should start introducing simple stories with repeated rhymes and phrases that will grab your toddler's attention.
Parents can start asking simple questions about the pictures in the book. For example, where is the lion? Mimicking or acting out the story will create a fun and exciting experience. Where there is a picture of a dog, bark as loudly as you can. You can then start asking your toddler, what sound does the dog make? At some point, they will bark, moo or roar when they see the pictures without any prompting.
The familiarity of reading with a parent can be very calming for a toddler. From around 18 months, your toddler may ask for the same book or story and get you to tell the story in the same way.
You can then start asking your toddler, what sound does the dog make? At some point, they will bark, moo or roar when they see the pictures without any prompting.
At this age, you can start introducing longer stories. Eighteen-month-old toddlers are very energetic, and they may want to run around while you are reading. This behaviour is normal and you can try to channel this energy by asking them to behave like the lion.
You can also get your toddler to tell you what is coming up in the story by pausing at appropriate places, naturally prompting them to verbalise or act out what is about to happen.