How do toddlers and preschoolers benefit from reading?
Toddlers typically are transitioning from horizontal to vertical people and like to be on-the-go. At about one year of age, they say their first word and take their first steps. They begin to hold a book right side up and turn board book pages. They point at pictures and begin to associate the names with the pictures and real objects. By age two children say two-word phrases, pretend to read books, and often carry their favorite books about with them. At the end of a busy day, a regular habit of reading books as part of the bedtime routine is a terrific way to cuddle, settle down, and create a love of books at the same time.
By age three, preschoolers use three-to-four-word sentences, and by age four their sentences have mostly correct grammar. Adults should stop to ask questions as they read, since preschoolers can talk about stories and even retell a familiar story. Preschoolers can learn to recognize some alphabet letters and even begin to print them in year four. By exploring their world through play and a variety of daily experiences, children expand their vocabulary and their knowledge. High-quality language and literacy environments, at home, in daycare centers, and in preschools, prepare children to learn to read in school.