Tips for sharing books with your toddler

Let your toddler help choose the book

At the library, let your child help choose which books to borrow. Suggest different books and let your child know why you think they might like that one. Your child will enjoy looking for new books and will be quite interested to see what they have chosen. 

Toddlers on the move!

Toddlers are a busy bunch, so they may find it a challenging to sit still for an entire story. Don’t worry if they’re moving about – chances are they’re still listening. A book with a repetitive phrase gives them an opportunity to actively participate in the story. Engage them with active books where they can help with actions and the voices of the characters.    

Ask questions

Reading together is an opportunity to get to know how your toddler views the world

Part of reading together is opportunity to engage with each other and get to know how your toddler views the world. After reading the book, ask your child what the liked (or did not like) about the book. Ask how the book made them feel. Toddlers will develop their language skills as they get the chance to tell you what they think.


Reading should be an enjoyable activity for both parents and children. Choose a book that matches yours and your child’s mood.  Try active books with voices and actions during play times and softer, quieter soothing stories before bed. Keep the interaction around the book positive. If the story time isn’t going well and is causing stress then try a different book, or a different time.

Play with words

If you’re using a song, rhyme or book that you both know well, try substituting some wrong words and letting your child catch you. You can also ‘forget’ the words and see if your toddler can help you out. Make it up, mix it up and keep it fun! Show your child the joys of books and languages by playing with words. The sillier the better!