It will be a couple of years before your toddler begins recognizing and writing letters, but it’s never too soon to expose him to the alphabet. The more he sees the letters and hears their names, the easier it will be for him to make the associations on his own when the time comes. Dr. Seuss’s ABC from the Dr. Seuss™ & His Friends book club is a time-honored alphabet classic. The Baby Einstein Playful Discoveries title My ABCs is another favorite.
Music and movement:
Toddlers love to be on the move—especially when they have a soundtrack. Books that incorporate songs and moving parts are sure to engage them. Stories that focus on transportation (cars, trucks, buses, and airplanes) also hold a big fascination. Dr. Seuss™ Stories & Songs includes music created just for children, while the book, Music on the Go from Baby Einstein Playful Discoveries features trains, trucks, and other favorite modes of transportation paired with playful, musical rhymes.
Shapes and colors:
These are two of the most important associations to teach your one-year-old. Dr. Seuss’s The Shape of Me and Other Stuff from the Dr. Seuss™ & His Friends book club helps toddlers start to see how the world is made up of shapes and help them to apply it to their environment.
Numbers and counting:
Reading books that incorporate numbers and counting, especially when paired with catchy rhymes, is a fun and effective way to introduce your toddler to the basic math skills he’ll master as he approaches preschool and kindergarten. Choose a favorite counting book, like Ten Apples Up on Top! by Dr. Seuss.
Toddlers are just beginning the long process of learning to understand and process their emotions, which is why books dealing with feelings and dispositions are so captivating. Choose a book that focuses on happiness, anger, sadness, and other basic moods, along with lessons for constructive ways to handle them. Mimi's Day, from the award-winning Baby Einstein Playful Discoveries series, is an effective mirror book that teaches little ones how to recognize their feelings and practice those faces while looking in the mirror located in the book.
Although it can sometimes be difficult to capture your one-year-old’s focus long enough to read one page, much less an entire book, you're making a difference by trying to make it fun and following his cues. When reading to a young toddler, quality is much more important than quantity. Do your best to make every minute you read together fun.