Reading Tips for Parents of Preschool Children

Jul 15, 2013

Language development is an important part of a toddler’s development. As your child reaches preschool age, you want him to explore the love of reading. You need to remember that being a toddler is all about action. Asking a toddler to sit still is sometimes impossible. Despite this, you must always encourage continuous language development and an interest in books by keeping reading times lively and interesting. Try a new tip each week from the list below and see what works best for you and your child.

Sitting Still

You may not be able to expect your child to sit still when you read out to them unless it is bedtime. Toddlers love moving around so it is alright if they act out the stories by jumping, skipping or tumbling as you read to them. They may be moving around, but they are listening. As time goes on, teach them to sit still and listen to you and use their hands and expressions to act things out.

Recite, sing and make mistakes

To see if your preschool child is listening and following, pause to let him finish your sentence when you are singing a rhyme or telling a repetitive story. Once he is familiar with the line, make a mistake on purpose and see how he catches you at it!

Type of Books

Choose books that feature animals or machines or books that invite touching, movement or make sounds. Books with flaps or textures keep hands and minds busy. Books with hidden items waiting to be found are great for discussing and exploring.


As much as you may be tempted to otherwise, keep reading time short. Toddlers do not have long attention spans. Read a little bit several times a day.


The genre of the books you are reading to your toddler is very important. You do not want to read to him about something he cannot relate to. Pick books that are about everyday experiences and feelings. Your toddler will be able to identify with kids who do what they do and feel, like eating, napping and playing.

Ask Questions

As you read and finish reading every time, ask some thought provoking questions. Toddlers have a strong opinion about things and you will be amazed at their interesting ideas. This way, you build language skills and you know what he thinks about the book.



We all had our favourite book when we were kids – books we read again and again and again! Read your child’s favourite book often enough. Once you know what kind of books he likes, get more of the same genre. You will see his attention span varying in length once he sees something he likes.

Not happening?

You may face a situation when the book is not happening for your child. Pick up another book. The whole reading experience should be about building a positive experience with books, engaging in conversation and learning new words and ideas. You don’t have to finish every book you start.

Happy Parenting!