Getting Other Family Members to Read to your Toddler

by Elle McCann

Sharing a book with a toddler is fun. It’s a time for great bonding, laughing, and closeness. It has never been a secret that reading can give children a flying start in life for and for the development of their minds. Family members apart from the mother can also help instill the love of books at a young age to set up a lifetime of knowledge.  There is no right or wrong way for other family members to read to toddlers, but if you’d like some help, here are a few tips to get you started.


Better interaction

Mothers everywhere read books to their toddlers but when other family members read to the child it can help them develop language skills as well as stronger relationships. The child benefits from hearing book language from different people which strengthens his vocabulary and improves his listening attention. Of course, there is also an extra benefit that your toddler is spending quality time together with other people and peacefully enjoying a book.


Wolf Pup Creative Reading with Grandparents


Better connection

The simple act of reading a book to a toddler builds a close and lasting relationship. The joy of simply being together, chilling together, and connecting through a story inspires young ones to discover relationships, learn more from other people, share their own stories and thoughts.  
On top of that, connecting with your loved ones through a book promotes better psychological growth for the kids.


Better language development

It turns out that other family members may help a child develop their language skills faster than moms can by reading books. Every family member has their unique contribution when it comes to reading to a child, so there is a lot more to it than just reading the words out loud. 

There is a whole new experience involved. While this doesn’t take the importance of a mom reading to her toddler, it does bring attention to the need of involving other family members like dads, older siblings, and grandparents to read to a toddler.


Wolf Pup Creative Reading with Siblings


Better imagination

When toddlers learn to listen to stories told by different people, look at new books, think about them, and ask questions, they’re preparing themselves for a better future. Reading together with different family members gives a chance for more one-on-one attention, and may encourage children to widen their imagination and share their ideas. And hearing their dad, siblings or grandparents read a story can intensify the feeling of love and belonging, and their place within it. 


To encourage the love of reading, family members can get involved by

  • Giving books as presents and giving toddlers a chance to read new and different stories and getting them to talk about what they're reading
  • Encouraging toddlers to carry a book in their backpack wherever they go. This is a great way to keep them from getting bored.
  • Visiting the library together to pick new books to read.
  • Having a family bookshelf.
  • Sharing stories and reading together.
  • Not panicking when a toddler wants to read the same book all over again. We have all been there.

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