This is a lovely little introduction to reading with toddlers shared by the great folks at Fred Roger’s Center Early Learning Environment. Another key component to reading with young children is repetition. Research, such as work done by Horst, Parsons & Bryan (2011), highlight the importance of contextual repetition in the development of vocabulary. They write, “we found a dramatic increase in children’s ability to both recall and retain novel name–object associations encountered during shared storybook reading when they heard the same stories multiple times in succession.” A third approach, that taken by many Montessori educators, is to celebrate a beautiful story by first sharing it with children without additional commentary.
These principles, woven together, create a foundation for rich shared reading practices. Biehus Parent + Child, we typically read the same book across many meetings. The first reading will take us through the whole story. Then, depending on the developmental stage of the children & the book, we may read successive portions each time we meet. For example, with Jan Brett’s The Mitten, we began with a full reading at our first community time. The next time we met, we read the first two pages, and then the next time we read the first four pages, and so on. Over time, the children came to really know the story. After many meetings we finished the book and the children had the opportunity to participate in some extensions of the work in our classroom.