Toddler control: storytime. How do I do this?

Kyla - posted on 07/07/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




I feel like this is a trite thing to write about but I truly do not know what to do. My 29 month old daughter and I were just reading books together in the recliner. First we checked out our book, looking at the pictures and talking out them and then I began reading from the beginning. About four pages in, she starts trying to turn the page and shut the book in mid sentence. I held the page and continued reading. In the past I have allowed her to run the show; I let her turn the pages when she wanted to and we didn't succeed in reading the story from front to back. I want storytime to be enjoyable for her. But I feel like I should have control of the book. I want to teach her that a book is read from front to back and to focus on the story. I try to make the story entertaining for her using different voices and using inflection in my voice. What does a good mom do? Assume control or allow her to turn pages when she wants?


Krista - posted on 07/07/2012




I would let her have control of the book. She'll figure out how books work soon enough, so why have a battle during what should be a relaxing time for you both? Just limit her to X number of books to read. She'll eventually figure out that if she jumps ahead, storytime is over that much faster. It'll get better. My son is almost three, and while we still have to draw his focus sometimes back to the book, he does let us turn the pages and read it properly.

Soon enough she'll get to the phase where she won't LET you skip pages, which you'll loathe, especially if she picks an extra-long book like, "Red Fish, Blue Fish".

So yeah...let it go. If you turn storytime into an unpleasant battle, you risk turning her off of reading altogether.


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MeMe---Past And Present (-.-) - posted on 07/07/2012




Krista, is right.

I had the same issue with my daughter and now with my son. I just let them have control. However, anytime he brings a book, I take the time to sit with him and read it. Sometimes we get through it, other times we don't. No big deal. He is 20 months.

My daughter, is now almost 14. She LOVES books. She has been an avid reader since she was tiny tiny. I think the fact, that I allowed her to develop with them on her own but encouraged reading every single day, helped with her loving to read. I read to her every single night, until she was 10. She has always been ahead of her grade in reading. She now reads novels, that you or I would read. She can read them in 1-3 days and she reads from the front to the back, without skipping pages. ;)

Elfrieda - posted on 07/07/2012




I think that wanting to read all the words on the page isn't realistic for such a small child, unless there are only a few words, like "Bear and Ball" (by Cliff Wright) which has one word per page.

My son (also 2.5) loves "Sometimes I like to Curl up in a Ball" (by Vicki Churchill) which has a full verse on each page, but we've made actions to go with each verse, so when we get to "Sometimes I like to stand still as a tree and watch everyone rush around about me" (yes I have the whole thing memorized) he puts his hands together on top of his head and flicks his eyes back and forth, and at "Sometimes I like to get in a real mess with mud on my feet and my hands and my chest" he stamps his feet, claps his hands, drums his chest, and "Sometimes I like to just go round and round. Pigeon step, pigeon step, 'til I fall down" is a very popular one, he spins around the room and we need to read that page repeatedly until I'm worried he'll careen in to a wall and damage his brain! Etc. If you can't think of actions to go along, ask your husband, they're often pretty good at that sort of thing.

As you can tell, he doesn't sit down for the story. But he's very into it. Heaven forbid we skip a page! (except when he wants to... but I'm with Krista, only a set number of stories and if he goes through them quickly, well that just means bedtime comes that much sooner.)

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