Here are a few suggestions to keep a restless toddler focused on the story in front of him:
- Hold on tight. Choose a storybook, and read to her while you firmly have your hands and fingers holding the pages. If she is comfortable, have her snuggle next to you on the couch. Then you can both share the pictures together with the book more in your control.
- Don't read exactly what is in the book. Describe the pictures, the scenes, the animals, the characters. Change your voice tones. Make the descriptions interesting! When you finish the book, close it and tell him appreciatively "We finished the whole book. Good for you!" Then ask him which book he wants next.
- Model a respect for books. As you help your child see how precious a book is, how gently we treat a book, and how amazing each story is, more and more she will absorb your admiration, your picture-book sharing experiences with her, and a cherishing feeling toward books.
- Find his faves. Go to the local library, and choose books that have pictures your child enjoys, such as cars, horses, barnyard scenes, etc. Do not let him turn the pages unless your fingers are right in the next page so that he turns exactly to the next page. Then praise him for turning the page so carefully. You are the gatekeeper of book reading. Create ways to make this a loving, friendly learning experience that your child really enjoys and begs for daily!