7 tips to cultivate lifelong literacy habits for your toddler

Guiding your toddler through a digital world is an exciting challenge and an excellent opportunity to preserve their love of reading.
(Common Sense Media)
Common Sense Media

With TV and tablets comes a new, colorful world that can hook tots instantly. And while it’s possible to make screen time an interactive, educational family activity, a love of books and reading is worth preserving. Try these tips to cultivate lifelong literacy habits.

Make it a daily ritual. Read together every night — or another time of day. The routine is what matters.

Let them pick. You may groan when your kids ask you to read something for the 200th time. But those cherished favorites always comfort and entertain.

Find a quiet, special space. You don’t have to have a big house to set up a special reading space, just a spot for two. Pillows, blankets, and low lighting make it extra cozy.


Don’t eliminate all screen time. Well-chosen, high-quality media has proven benefits and is fine when balanced with other activities. Be strategic with when and how much your kids watch screens.

Keep the selection fresh. Libraries are key, since you never know what kids will like. Go regularly, and check out books by your kids’ favorite authors or in their preferred topics.

Look for books with sensory experiences. Let kids enjoy the tactile experience of turning pages, touching different textures, lifting flaps, and more.

Keep books everywhere. In the car, in the bathroom. ... Studies show having lots of books at home can give kids a big boost in school.


A lifelong love of reading is a gift you can give to your kids that they’ll carry forever.

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