Your Toddler 18 - 36 Months

  • Your 18-24 month old: Your toddler learns new things every day! He or she may carry books around and pretend to read, recognize favorite books, and develop a routine with a caregiver that involves reading.
  • By the age of 2, children have a constantly growing vocabulary of between 1,000 and 2,000 words. He or she may use words in simple combinations such as "all done" or "pick up."
  • Your 24-36 month old: Your toddler will be speaking in sentences, and will ask and answer simple questions. He or she will imitate sounds, actions, and words in books, as well as label parts of illustrations. Your toddler will enjoy hearing his or her favorite stories read aloud repeatedly and will enjoy reading being a part of daily routines.
  • By age 3, children often demonstrate obvious enjoyment of reading, and will label items in illustrations. Toddlers at this age may also begin creating scribbles that resemble printing.

Tips for reading with your toddler:

  • Discuss the books that you read with your child. Ask who, what, where, when, why, and how questions.
  • Your child will enjoy the chance to answer questions like "what is this animal?" or "what do you think will happen next?" Be sure to give your child enough time to answer questions before telling them the answer or moving on. Counting to ten silently in your head will help you to wait long enough for a response. This will show your child that you have respect for their developing thinking and speaking skills.
  • Choose books that show characters doing things that your toddler does too (eating, playing, going to bed).
  • Keep books on low shelves so that your toddler has easy access to them.
  • Choose non-fiction books about colors, shapes, animals, families, etc.
  • Teach your toddler how to handle books correctly and carefully.
  • Share stories with repetitive text and encourage your child to repeat familiar parts along with you.
  • Recite rhymes and sing songs during daily routines.

Books for Toddlers:

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  • Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
  • My Car by Byron Barton
  • Planes by Byron Barton
  • The Little Red Hen by Bryon Barton
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury