Preparation time: None!
Clean-up time: None! Story time is a mess-free activity!
Game Duration: As long as you want, but generally between 5 and 15 minutes.
What you will need: A book or two, a quiet spot (preferably) and a soft blanket or toy.
How to Play:
Toddlers love to snuggle up to you when it's story time. Find a cozy place and bring a soft blanket or toy. Make yourself comfortable and invite your little one into your lap. Open up your book and just look at the pages together a little while. When she starts pointing to things or looking at you expectantly, this would be a good time to begin to read the text.
Be attentive to your toddler's cues. Sometimes she will not want to hear the printed text, preferring to have you name everything she points to in the pictures. If your toddler has some vocabulary and is speaking well, she may want to engage in imaginative conversation about the pictures. Other children will be very interested in the story and become very attached to the cadence of the written text, exactly as written. Go with the flow and find out what your toddler prefers, keeping in mind that it may change from time to time!
You are finished the story when your toddler is finished listening. Try not to become attached to finishing the book, or the page, or even the sentence... prolonging the experience once your toddler has disengaged from the activity may provoke impatience, anxiety, a tantrum; all negative ends to a great experience. Unfortunately your toddler is likely to remember the end of the activity, so always end on a positive note.
For more in-depth information about how to read a story to your toddler as well as fantastic book recommendations, watch for our upcoming Toddler Books section.