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How do I read to my 2 year old?

My 2 year old just does not sit still when I try to read to him. He wants to skip pages, hold the book, get another book, rip the pages, or just refuses to let me read to him. Any suggestions?

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Asked by rmconde at 7:55 AM on Nov. 15, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Just keep reading - a little bit here and there, skipped pages and all! Eventually he will sit and listen to the whole thing! My firstborn was like that. I think the others do better because they saw big brother sitting and listening. I think we could read to them for hours now!

    Answer by micheledo at 8:12 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • I would buy a book without any words and try not to force the issue of sitting down and reading words. Where's wally books are great (do they call them something different in the US?) because there are lots of things to do and see and not just wally. Or get books where there is lots to do. The Jolly postman books are fab too. Don't stress if he wants to skip pages. Focus on getting him to sit still first. The only thing I would not tollerate from the beginning is the ripping pages. The more you battle him, the less likely it is he'll want to do it. Sitting and reading is a lovely thing to do, but it might be something your son is not interested in and so it is not worth pushing it at this point - he'll soon come round. There are letters and words all around us, so you can teach him reading skills in wys other than sitting down to read.

    Answer by M2TandM at 8:16 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • My daughter does the same thing. It's virtually impossible to get through one page before she starts turning the pages or running off. What i do is before bedtime I put her in her crib and sit a chair next to the crib and read to her that way. I'll let her look at the pages but it's virtually impossible for her to flip the pages or run off. She will usually just stand up in her crib and listen to the story. I would love to read to her during playtime but I get nowhere. If she hands me a book to read to her I will read until she starts turning the pages and then i just let her look at the pictures and do her own thing.

    Answer by drs1206 at 8:31 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • Do what he wants. If he skips a page, read that page. If he's done, let him down. Just keep trying and working at reading a little longer each day.

    Keep the books short and sweet, fun with lots of brightly colored pictures.

    Don't bother reading the words, ask him questions about the pictures (this would also help with shape, color, letter and number recognition!)

    There's a lot of different ways to do it, but don't expect him to just sit and listen right now.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 11:13 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • my son is 18 m/o. he is very antsy, but before bedtime he usually sits still in my lap while I read. He flips the pages before I'm done reading lol but I have learned at this age to not focus so much on the story, but point out the objects or simplify the words. if I read during the day he doesnt keep still, especially at library playgroup, where he prefers playing with the toys. but I still read and sometimes he does stop what he's doing to listen or look. the librarian at the playgroup understands toddlers cant keep still for long so she allows the kids to play while she reads or sings.

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 11:35 AM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • have you tried reading at bedtime? my little guy really has to be in the mood for a book midday. (he's usually too busy playing to sit for a story) but will always be read to before nap and bed. we keep most of the "story" books in his room for that purpose, and the "play" (seek n find, lift a flap, makes noise, etc) books in the toy room. they are the ones he usually will sit for during the day

    Answer by abelsmama07 at 1:36 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • First you need to choose the right type of books. If the attention span is very short pick books that have few words on a page maybe with lots of pictures. A couple favorites of my son's are "Snug House, Bug House" by Susan Schade or most of the Sandra Boynton board books (barnyard dance, oh my,oh my, oh dinosaurs, hippos go berserk). Keep the excitement in your voice and maybe point out things in the book (snug house bug house has a "baby" bug we always point out on each page)

    Next you need the right time. Start with bed time or nap time, times that are normally relaxed and quiet. Then add other times when your child wants to read. My son will pick up books at random through out the day and crawl into my lap saying "read read"


    Answer by chrissmom734 at 2:43 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

  • I read to my son when he was going down for a nap or just waking up from one. When he's still graugy and just wants to cuddle. He's less likely to try and rip apart the book. You can also sit/lay beside him while he's on the floor playing with a toy. He'll listen to you, but being distracted with the toy he'll be less likely to try and turn pages.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 5:36 PM on Nov. 15, 2009

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