Interactive Read Aloud Tips for Toddlers
About a hundred times a day I hear the words “Read me book, peese, mama” come out of my little man’s mouth. It makes my heart happy to know that he has developed such a love of books and learning. Caleb wasn’t a huge fan of reading when he was younger (he didn’t want to sit still!) so I definitely don’t take for granted all the hours we spend cuddled up with our noses in a book. Since I want to make the most of our reading time, I do my best to make our time more of an interactive read aloud time rather than simply filling his head with words.
As I’ve done my research on it, I’ve learned that interactive read aloud is intended to allow the child opportunities to engage with the text and help them understand it better. This will later be transferred to skills and strategies they use when they begin to learn how to read on their own. Sounds good to me!
Interactive Read Aloud Tips
Allow for Questions
It is vital that you allow your little one to ask questions while you’re reading. I’m sure I’m not the only mama who would do almost anything to get through a book without being interrupted but I try my hardest to take a step back and allow Caleb to ask me questions about what he’s hearing or observing in the book. We’ve had quite a few amazing discussions because of questions he’s asked – discussions I would otherwise have thought he was too young to understand!
On the flip side, as readers, we need to be asking questions as well. At first the questions will probably be limited to things like “What does the dog say?” or “What color is the car?” but, as our child gets older, questions like “How do you think that made so-and-so feel?” or “Have you ever experienced that?” are awesome too!
The pictures in kids books are often the best part and we should definitely be utilizing them! Use pictures to have discussions about types of animals, count the number of dots on a lady’s dress, or even discuss different forms of artwork with your little one! The sky is the limit but definitely don’t get stuck only talking about the words in the storybook.
Encourage your toddler to use his or her voice while you’re reading. If it’s a book of repetition than encourage him to fill in the word that is commonly used. Ask your little girl to count out loud in a counting book. Get them speaking because that’s allowing them to use more of their brain! Always a good thing!
Learning through Projects
If you’re feeling really ambitious, come up with a project that goes along with the story. Make a caterpillar when you read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Go on a pirate adventure after reading a book about pirates. Plant some carrot seeds after reading Peter Rabbit. This definitely takes intentionality but is beyond worth it!
What do you do during interactive read aloud time?
What is your toddler’s favorite book?