#3 of the Top 5 Most Important Things to Do with Your Toddler/Preschooler

If you asked me what the top 5 most important things to do with your toddler/preschooler are, this is what I would say:

#3. Read, read, read, and read some more!


Since I have a master’s degree in reading education, one might say I’m biased when it comes to reading, but I honestly think there’s no such thing as reading too much when it comes to your children.  If they’ll listen, read!  Even if you think they’re not listening, read!  

Some days I literally read for hours to L&L.  They both love books so much that we’ve gotten them each a LeapFrog Tag reader (We LOVE these!!!), 

and for Christmas 2011 they got a CD/Cassette/Radio boom box 

just for them so they can play read-along books, so that Mommy can sometimes get a break but they can still read if they want to.  

Luke has always loved books, and from probably 9 months on never held a book upside down and he knew how to turn pages.  Lilah on the other hand mostly preferred to eat books up until a few months ago, but now is finally showing a great love for books as well!  If your little one isn’t full of book-love yet, do NOT give up on them!

Both L&L like to read on their own in bed before nap and bedtime.  They have bookshelves in their rooms to hold their books; we put up a rain gutter shelf along the wall of Luke’s bunk bed which he loves.  We’ll probably do the same for Lilah now that she has a bunk bed.  

Luke also has an LED night light 

clipped onto his shelf so he can read his books at night.  (It’s actually a music stand light, but we think it’s perfect!)  We just ordered the same one for Lilah and “installed” it for her tonight!  She was so excited!

Both of them will sit and listen to books for a really long time now.  They even enjoy chapter books that have only a few pictures — like The Magic Tree House series 

and Winnie the Pooh.  

The hardest part with reading longer books is finding ones that are content-appropriate for such young kids; if in doubt, always read them first yourself!

We also read and recite lots of nursery rhymes, poems, songs, and Bible verses.  I often hear L&L quoting lines from things we’ve read when they play.  A recent one I heard was Luke playing with Lilah and her dollhouse: “He tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!”  It made me laugh, but at the same time, I was impressed that he used it in the right context.  Reading is great for increasing vocabulary!

I am already working on another post to give you some ideas of things you can do while you’re reading with your child, so be sure to check back soon! 🙂  

(Update: Click here to read the post Strategies to Use When Reading with a Child)

There is a TON of research out there about early reading and later success in school, so please READ, READ, READ, and READ some more!

What’s reading like at your house?


Read more in the Top 5 Most Important Things to Do with your Toddler / Preschooler series:

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Brook Vernon says:

    I love your top 5, it is so in tune with my own thinking… 🙂

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