How to Choose Books to Support your Toddler’s Speech and Language Development

By Marissa Siegel, Owner and Speech-Language Pathologist at Rising Star Speech and Language Services

Do you read to your child? Reading to your young child is research-backed as one of the many great things you can do to boost their communication development. There are so many children’s books out there though- so how do you choose?

For the youngest learners, choose books that are colorful, engaging, and interactive. Just a few words on each page, or none at all work best. You can talk about what’s on each page as you go. Lift-the-flap or touch-and-feel books stimulate more of their senses and keep them engaged. Books that include songs, poems, or nursery rhymes are sure to be a hit and key into your little one’s emerging knowledge of sounds and words. Repetitive books can help your child know what words come next and encourage their participation. Think about the durability of books for this age as well. Board books or Indestructibles are the way to go. Books that include real images of other children are fascinating to babies and toddlers. Kids like to see other kids!

If your family is about to work with a speech-language pathologist (SLP), choose books that prepare them for what it will be like. This can help acquaint them with what it looks like, the vocabulary, and reassure them. Reading books about big topics in your child’s life such as holidays, potty training, trips to doctors, or even getting a new brother or sister, can help familiarize them and make them more comfortable with new things that will be happening. There are books for just about every big topic in a child’s life you could think of.

Reading books about new topics is fun and informative, but checking out books based on your child’s interests will also foster their learning. Does your little girl love animals so much that doggy and kitty were some of her first words? Try a story about all kinds of pets. Is your little boy all about numbers? Keep on counting with your book choices then. At this age, it’s all about getting them excited about reading and learning.

Some recommended books include:

If you’re looking for some more books to read, you can now check out books online at Roanoke County Libraries and pick them up curbside. Little Free Libraries are also popping up across the country. Go check out some books and Read Read Read!

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