Reading books from a young age contributes greatly to toddlers’ development. Starting to read slowly and gradually is recommended. At first, toddlers may be allowed to connect to the book in their own way: Touch it, open and close it, look at the illustrations, and become curious. Later, you can read: Read a little each day, patiently and calmly. Some toddlers will prefer to read a single page, get familiar with and used to it, until – hey – books have become friends!
We can make interesting discoveries if we only pay attention. You may enjoy discussing what you see on your way as you walk or drive: “Here is a red car!” “I see clouds, and what do you see?” You could also share and exchange experiences with your toddler: “On my way to work, I saw a lady walking her dog. What did you see today on your way to daycare or back?”
Like the boy in the book, all toddlers enjoy rituals that generate a fixed routine, calm them down, and help them start their day feeling good and happy. You could also have your own morning ritual each day. For instance, you could encourage your toddler to bid a beloved stuffed toy farewell: “Teddy, Teddy, I’m going to Kindergarten, goodbye!” while you parents reply on behalf of the bear: “Goodbye! See you later! Have a safe journey!”
Many animals appear in the book. You could look at them together, and state their names, make the relevant sounds, and mimic their movements: Crow like a rooster, hop like a bunny, or gallop and neigh like a horse. You could also look at the illustrations on the final page, cover one of the animals each time, make the relevant sound or mimic its movements, and have your toddler guess which animal it is.
From bed to daycare – what a journey! From the moment we open our eyes to the minute we set foot in daycare, so many things happen: We can meet the sun rising, our toothbrush or some people on our street, and wish them all a good morning! This greeting is a ritual that helps toddlers begin their days confidently, calmly, and enjoyably – a new day has begun well!
How do we turn books into friends? Reading from a young age contributes greatly to toddlers’ development. We suggest starting slowly, gradually, and age-appropriately: Some toddlers will want to touch the book, open and close it, or even “taste” it. You can then read a little, patiently and enjoyably. You could start by reading one page, and, as you get used to it, add more pages, until, hey – books have become friends!
While reading, you could emphasize the words good morning using a special voice and welcoming gesture. Invite toddlers to join in, follow the story, and take an active part in the reading. You could create your own good morning greetings: “Good morning kitchen chair!” “Good morning, tree on our street!”, “Good morning, Bobby the dog!”
To toddlers, everything can be a teachable moment. Time spent together going to or from daycare provides an opportunity to observe what attracts toddlers’ attention: Is it ants walking in a row? A large truck? Or perhaps a flock of birds taking wing?
Look together and let the toddler find: Where is the bird? Is it on additional pages? Who accompanies the child to kindergarten? How do we get to kindergarten – by bicycle, walking or some other way? Who wears a hat and where is the dog?
Look at the last page and ask: “What are the children in kindergarten doing? What do you like to do at the nursery?”
Ask: Where to, where to? And each time choose a different place: To… The bath, the balcony, or to… The playground? Go together to the place you’ve chosen, hug each other and then say aloud: Where to, where to? To… the next place!