Benefits of Reading to Your Toddler

Reading to toddlers always involves being interrupted, skipping pages, and conversing as much as reading. To some it may like an annoying waste of time, but this is actually exactly what your child needs at this stage! You can never go wrong with a good book.

Here are some of the benefits of interactive story time with your toddler:

Brain Development

During the first years of life, 1 million new neural connections form every second. Reading is jam-packed with brain-building stimulation as children take in sound and visual information. In addition, the conversation between pages allows their brain to comprehend what's happening. 


A strong bond between you and your child is priceless. Bonding is started as soon as you carry your child, and continues throughout the rest of their life. However, once babies hit toddlerhood lots of distractions can occur. Between chasing him/her around, attending functions, and managing tantrums, it can be hard to remember to cuddle and connect.

Reading is a simple way to build bonding into your day. Your toddler may not sit and read for long, but it encourages closeness and enjoyable interaction every day.

Better Listeners

Since most toddlers probably don't know how to read yet, their only clues about what’s happening in a book are the pictures they see and the words they hear you say.

You’re opening up a whole new world to them with the tale you’re spinning and they will be listening carefully, even when you don’t think they are. You’ll realize just how observant these tiny humans are someday when you’re trying to have a private conversation with your spouse or friend and suddenly realize your child is eavesdropping on every word you say! 🤦‍♀️

Language Skills

During months 12-24, children’s speech explodes and their understanding of language is well underway. Reading regularly during this time of rich language development helps children gain vocabulary and learn things like grammar, sentence structure, and sequencing. Basically a bunch of good stuff! 

It's Fun! 

Having fun can be a benefit all on its own. It can cut down on the stress a child feels — and yes, children can have stress too, just like adults can.

Time spent having fun can lead to better sleep, more positive feelings, and even stronger relationships


Toddlers aren’t exactly known for being calm — especially when you want them to be. It seems they have a knack for getting wound up right when when we want them to wind down most, like at bedtime.

Reading can help them calm down so you can both get some sleep. You may want to start a half-hour before bedtime. Tuck them in, dim the lights a bit, and read to them in a softer soothing voice. That is my son's favorite time to read! 

Best Books For Bedtime (Some of my favorites) 

These stories stand out for meeting both the language and emotional needs of toddlers, and are super cute! 

Birth to 3

  • Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker (Harcourt)
  • The Everything Book by Denise Fleming (Henry Holt)
  • "More, More, More," Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams (William Morrow)
  • Where's Spot? by Eric Hill (Putnam)

Drop some of your favorite toddler reads down below! 


Kate Emoji

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