Book time has always been an important part of our home routines. All four of our children have had a time when ‘quiet' book time was a required part of the day. This usually became obvious during the two-five years of age when the child seems to go from one thing to the next and I needed a time to refresh. I know how beneficial this time has been for my children, so I wanted to help you learn how to implement book time for toddlers.
How to Implement Book Time for Toddlers
I needed quiet time in my afternoons, especially after my children stopped taking naps. I quickly found that quiet book time was the answer to my own need for some quiet time, and with a few important steps in place, it was easy to implement and my children all came to enjoy it.
- Create an area where the child can freely get books, with lots of pictures of animals, letters, numbers and children their age
- Set a timer for 5-15 minutes (or less when first starting) and work your way up to 30 minutes – telling the child that when the alarm goes off their book time is done
- Praise them for accomplishing the goal of ‘quiet' book time
- Ask them what they learned in the book and give them some time to ‘tell' you what they looked at
Be sure to allow your child the opportunity to pick their own books, out of approved ones and be responsible for this time. Children as young as one will quickly learn to give their full attention to their books of their choice until they hear the timer. I always used this time to teach them how to pick up their books and put them where they belonged.
Here is what I did during the ‘quiet' book time:
- Showers – oh the joy of a private shower
- Dinners or other baking
- Read a book myself
- Other work
- Talked with Daddy or a friend
I always found that when my children learned this important part of their day, they demonstrated key things that I contributed to these times. To learn more Why Toddlers Need Book Time, read my post…