Toddler Read-Aloud Tips


As a teacher, but mostly as a mom, I thought it might be helpful to share a few tips for keeping the magic of reading alive if, like us, your home library has been read a hundred times over.

Rhyming books have been quite popular at story-time these days. As we read these, we leave a pause at the rhyming word and let our daughter fill in the blank. It amazes me how fast she ends up memorizing the words and being called on to recite the words makes it really exciting for her. For older students, rhyming books provide excellent fluency practice. You can help them notice things like line breaks and stanzas and teach them how to pause after each little chunk of text!

Whatever you do, try not to go into story-time with the belief that the most important thing is to read a book from beginning to end! My daughter is only two so Dragons Love Tacos 🌮 can be a little long for her (but sometimes she will sit through the whole story bc it is so entertaining) so instead of reading every sentence, I will choose a few here and a few there. Mostly she loves interacting with the pictures and sharing connections about what she sees (Taco Tuesday mama!). I make it my goal to ask her what she sees on at least a few of the pages and in this particular story, she always ends up saying, “I see fire!” To help build her vocabulary, I try to be intentional about my responses. Instead of saying, “yes very good!” I try to restate what she said with just a touch more detail- “Yes! The dragons are blowing fire!” With older kiddos, you can delve into questions that help them make connections between other stories, their own experiences, or even talk about how the characters or settings are not similar to what they know. 

Another way to spice up reading time is to utilize duplicate copies of any books that you have. Ella’s favorite thing to do at storytime is to hand one copy to me (or her daddy) and she keeps one to herself. She loves trying to find the page that I am on and it gives her practice turning the pages and exploring the pictures as she wishes. Duet reading can also be an opportunity for choral reading - alternate lines or read in unison!