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How to read with my 2-year-old?

little girl reading a book with mom

Including reading time in your daily routine not only boosts the language development, but provides you with special one-on-one quality time that strengthens the bond between you and your little one.

Key Points:
1. Reading with your child not only enhances language development but also strengthens your bond through one-on-one quality time, offering benefits like calming and comforting moments.
2. Tailoring your reading approach to your child’s age, from 24-29 months to 30-35 months, involves engaging with their evolving abilities, interests, and questions while fostering a joyful reading experience.

Depending on your child’s age, you can focus on different aspects of the reading experience to get the most out of it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has created a literacy toolkit that includes great tips for parents and caregivers who wish to profit from their kid’s reading time! This article will summarize a few key points about reading with a 2-year-old throughout two stages: 24-29 months and 30-35 months. Within each age range, you’ll find examples of what your child can do and what you can do to maximize the reading experience!

24 to 29 months old
Your child can: At this age, your little one can choose a book to read together –it might be the same one over and over again! They’ll probably be able to repeat a few words and phrases you say while reading, and love to laugh at silly stories and pictures. Your child might be curious and ask simple questions about the book like “What’s that?”.

You can: Find a quiet, cozy place to cuddle up and read together. This is a great way to calm and comfort your child. While reading, pay attention to your child’s cues and respond with excitement. If they say an important word like “dog” you can say “Yes, that’s a dog! The dog is playing outside”. Read joyfully, using different tones of voice for each character. You can even count the objects in the pictures, and wait for your little one to repeat after you.


30 to 35 months old
Your child can: At this stage, your little one can tell you the name of the story they want to read and even remember the one you read last night. You might notice that they tell you about the pictures in the story and uses longer sentences. They might have a favorite book and be able to tell you their version of the plot. They’ll ask you specific questions about the characters in the story and even incorporate those characters during playtime.

You can: Find a quiet, cozy place to cuddle up and read together. When you are done reading, talk to your child about how the things that happen in the story are similar to the ones that happen in their life. You can also discuss the characters’ feelings –has your little one ever felt that way? Read joyfully, using different tones of voice for each character. You can even count the objects in a picture or find the ones that are alike in some way. For example, look for everything that’s red.

Happy reading! 🙂

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