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5 Must-Have Toddler Books Recommended by an SLP

Nov 28th, 2023 | by Jamie Lacroix

Jamie Lacroix

November 28th, 2023

Toddler Books: The Building Blocks for Literacy and Learning

Did you know that reading books with your toddler is a great way to boost their language and literacy skills?  In addition to setting a strong foundation for future learning, shared reading can also strengthen your bond with your child and nurture a love for books as they grow older. We can’t recommend it enough! On this blog, NAPA SLP Jamie shares her top 5 toddler books to add to your child’s library. Happy reading!

5 Board Books for Toddlers Chosen by an SLP

1. “Where’s Spot?” by Eric Hill

Find 5 board books for toddlers recommended by a speech therapist in this blog post!

This interactive lift-the-flap book is very engaging for toddlers. It provides simple language and introduces prepositions. Here are some ideas you can target while reading the book:

  • Vocabulary: identify words like ‘door’ and ‘dog’
  • Yes/no questions while searching for Spot (Is that Spot?)
  • Prepositions: ‘in,’ ‘under,’ ‘behind.’
  • Questions: Where is Spot? Can you find him?
  • Following directions: encourage your child to point to Spot.

2. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Find 5 board books for toddlers recommended by a speech therapist in this blog post!

This book introduces colors and animals and is highly repetitive – making learning fun and predictable!  Here are some ideas you can target while reading the book:

  • Engage your child by pausing on pages with the words ‘I,’ ‘see,’ and ‘me,’ providing opportunities for them to participate by filling in the word.
  • Use the book as a tool to expand your child’s language. For instance, if they say ‘bird, you can model ‘red bird.’
  • Discuss the sounds the animals make.

3. “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow

Find 5 board books for toddlers recommended by a speech therapist in this blog post!

This engaging story is great for learning about body parts, counting, and acting out actions. Here are some ideas you can target while reading the book:

  • Use your fingers to count from one to five.
  • Act out action words like ‘phone’ by mimicking a phone call and bringing your hand to your ear, and use one finger to motion ‘no, no.’
  • Touch your head when the monkey in the story bumps its own head.
  • Introduce rhyming words like ‘head’ and ‘bed.’

4. “Pop up Peek a Boo” by Dawn Sirett

Find 5 board books for toddlers recommended by a speech therapist in this blog post!

This series of pop-up books are full of so many choices!  Animals, body parts, and vehicles are just a few of the developmentally appropriate topics to introduce to your toddler!  Here are some ideas you can target while reading the book:

  • During the repetitive phrase ‘peek a boo,’ pause after saying ‘peek-a’ giving your child the opportunity to produce ‘boo’
  • Highlight the words ‘up’ and ‘down’ as each page opens and closes, reinforcing the concept of movement
  • Encourage your child to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to the pop-up picture on each page.

5. Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell

Find 5 board books for toddlers recommended by a speech therapist in this blog post!

This fun lift-the-flap book is a great way to develop your child’s language, listening skills, attention, and more.  It’s filled with repetitive phrases, zoo animals, and describing words that will continue to build their vocabulary.  Here are some ideas you can target while reading the book:

  • Engage in role-play to act out various descriptive words such as ‘scary,’ ‘grumpy,’ and ‘tall.’
  • Explore prepositions like ‘in,’ and ‘back.’
  • Expand vocabulary by discussing sizes (big, small, tall) and attributes (grumpy, jumpy)

Inspire a Lifelong Love of Reading With These Toddler Books

Early exposure to reading sets the stage for future academic success and provides a solid foundation for lifelong learning. It sparks imagination, promotes cognitive development, and introduces them to a world of knowledge, as well as cherished moments between you and your child.

Find Additional Resources in the NAPA Blog:

About the Author

While researching different ways to help her children, both of whom needed speech services, Jamie discovered a love for the world of speech and language. Like many moms, she relies on and appreciates how her kid’s speech therapists have transformed her family’s life and overall wellbeing. Jamie insists, “There is no better feeling than working with a child and seeing them grow with their speech, language, and communication.”

About NAPA Centre

NAPA offers speech therapy to children of all ages to address delays and disorders in expressive/receptive language, articulation, oral motor dysfunction, apraxia of speech, social language, fluency, feeding and swallowing, and cognitive skills.

TAGS: Blogs, SLP
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