Preschool is an important time to introduce children to the basics of literacy. They should gain an appreciation for books and stories, become familiar with the alphabet, and even begin writing simple words. But if you have a high-energy toddler that doesn't want to sit still for story time, how are you supposed to instill these important basics? Below are three ways that you can engage your toddler in the world of books.
Read When They Are Sleepy
If your toddler loves to run and play, it can be difficult to get them to sit down long enough to read a book from cover to cover. Rather than trying to wrangle your little one when they have excess energy, consider making story time part of their bedtime ritual. Or, if your toddler has a difficult time going to sleep, consider reading to them when they first wake up in the morning, when they are most agreeable and likely to want to snuggle in bed a little longer.
Use Puppets and Pictures to Tell Stories
Books, even those with short sentences on each page, take a large amount of patience for young people to listen to, but there are other ways that you can introduce your toddler to the concept of stories. Instead of reading, consider telling classic stories with finger puppets.
Alternatively, you can copy and laminate a few pages from a book and tape them to your child's play area. You and your child can make up stories about the pictures, and when you start to read them that particular book, the characters will be familiar and engaging for your toddler.
Learning to use their imagination, identify with characters, and follow story lines are all important aspects of reading that can be taught without actually sitting still for a full book.
Show Them That Their Peers Love Reading
Most young children love mimicking others and being rewarded for socially appropriate behavior. If your little one will not sit still for story time at home, consider taking them to the library where they will see their peers listening to stories. Even better, you can enroll your child in a preschool program that has story time each day. Your child's teachers will have plenty of ways to make stories come to life and get your child excited about reading.
If you have a young child that will not sit still for you to read to them, you should not worry. With time, they can learn to love reading. For more information, contact Family Ties Child Center or a similar location.