Little Jedi

The Rules, Roles and Routine in Toddler Reading

For the past three months, I have let the Little Jedi “read” on his own. We still have our Story Time but it has become more and more difficult to read to a toddler if he turns the page faster than I can read the text. Because of that, we rarely finish reading the book.

Then I remembered from the Happiest Toddler on the Block that I can already start teaching my one year old some rules. Since I want him to focus on the book (as advised by Doc Vienne), my first rule was to wait. I also read in the book that toddlers like to exude some independence and one tip was to give them roles. That was when I had my light bulb moment. I could teach him one rule and role while doing the activity we really love: reading.

His role: turning the page when Mami is done reading

The rule: Wait until Mami is done reading before turning the page.

I particularly picked his favorite board book. I would sit him in front of me and I’d start reading. If he starts to grab the page to turn it, I would hold the page with my thumb and tell him “waiiiit”. I even use a sing-song tone so I’d get his attention. At  first he would try to still turn the page and I would just repeat my strategy. When I feel he is about to lose interest, I point to the pictures on the book and that would get his attention.When I’m done reading the page, I would remove my thumb and place it under the page so it slightly lifts. This is his cue that he could turn it. After two rounds, he didn’t try to turn the page anymore when I say “wait” and eagerly turns it when I’m done reading! Yey!

Listening and waiting to turn the page
I'll turn the page for you, Mami

Now, it has become our daily routine. When he sees me when I come home from work, he’d give me his Manila Bulletin-winning smile and immediately grab the big book. He knows what “wait” means and he definitely knows his role during Story Time. The cutest part of it is after I read to him, he starts all over. Only this time, he reads to me. He’d even look at me for affirmation and maybe even check if I am listening. hehe. Sweet, right?

After reading, he knows it is already bedtime for him. I am so happy! I taught him a rule, a role and a routine that makes putting him to sleep easier. 🙂


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