If a child shows an interest in something you can get them looking at books about it.
A toddler has seemingly endless interests: blabbering, spinning in circles, being tickled, eating chocolate, crying, resisting naps, and hating baths. However, try finding books about those things. It's difficult, but if you are always on the lookout to capitalize on anything your child shows even a fleeting moment of interest in you may just strike gold. For my son this came in the form of chickens or as he now calls them, “bawk bawks.”
His grandfather raises chickens, and one weekend while in town visiting his grandparents, we decided to put my son in the coop with the chickens. At first he was timid. He watched them and they watched him. My son pointed at the chickens and told me what they were doing. He laughed and cheered with them and then imitated their sounds the whole drive home. The next morning at breakfast, without realizing the genius act he was about to commit, my father-in-law handed my son a chicken catalog like you’d find at a farm supplies store. Its thin glossy pages were full color and featured squares upon squares of pictures of all kinds of chickens available for order. Below the pictures of chickens were long fancy names such as Brahmamama and Sicilian Buttercup. My son actually awed looking at the catalog's pages.
From that morning on it was all “bawk bawks” all the time. We made chicken noises and danced like chickens at home. We checked out chicken books from the library. We made special trips to places we knew chickens would be. For Halloween my partner even made our son his very own chicken costume, at his request of course. And his little brother? He was a chicken, too. You could say our house became quite the coop.
If your child likes something, show them a book about it. While it’s not imperative that your child have an interest like “bawk bawks,” it is great practice to always keep an eye out for things that you can revisit with books. The more interested in something a child is, the more ownership they can take over it. The more connections they see between reading and the world around them, the more interested in reading they will be. This in turn will help your child build crucial strong literacy skills before entering kindergarten.
So what is your child interested in? If you don’t think there is a book about it, visit us at the library and let us prove you wrong.