When you’re learning a new language, nothing beats daily practice — and the same goes for your baby’s growing vocabulary. But keeping up with a toddler’s language development isn’t always as clear cut as it seems. To help give you and your kiddo a boost in the right direction, here are six children’s books to keep on heavy rotation when you sit down for story time.
1. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle ($9): From waving your hands overhead like a monkey to stomping your feet like an elephant, this book offers a great way to get the wiggles out while learning new words. That’s because From Head to Toe isn’t just about listening to a story; it’s about learning how different animals move and how we can move too.
2. First 100 Words by Roger Priddy ($6): The best part about First 100 Words is how simple it is. Although toddlers love to read through this with parents, they quickly begin to enjoy paging through it on their own. Pro tip: Once your tot has mastered naming some or most of the pictures in the book, take it a step further and sneak in descriptive words —instead of only saying “apple,” you can add “the apple is round and red,” or “we love to eat apples.”
3. Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton ($6): This book has the toddler trifecta for entertainment: fun illustrations, animal sounds, and a story that rhymes. According to pediatric speech-language therapist Becca Jarzynski, when toddlers learn to imitate animal sounds with a book like Moo Baa La La La, they begin to associate sounds with something, like the picture of an animal, which in turn can lead to actual words.
4. First Words by Roger Priddy ($5): Each page of this sweet little book contains just one simple word and one brightly colored picture. Because it’s so uncluttered, it’s easier for toddlers to focus on one concept at a time.
5. Baby Faces by DK Publishing ($6): Words that can describe how you’re feeling are so useful, particularly when you’re a toddler trying to figure out how to communicate to mommy or daddy. Baby Faces is a great book to help your toddler put a label to how they feel. With pictures of real babies making all sorts of faces, and descriptive words to go along with each, your tot will get a better grip on what it means to be happy, sad, and even puzzled.
6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle ($7): You might remember this classic from when you were a kid, and it’s just as good now as it was then. The repetitive pattern in this book makes it easy for toddlers to follow along, while the creative illustrations make it fun and engaging.
What children’s books are on a solid repeat at your house? Tell us @BritandCo!
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