How to improve your toddler’s ability to listen to a story


Reading to your one and two-year old requires a different strategy than how you read to your three and four-year old.  I am going to use the picture above as an example……so that you understand how you should be reading to your little one….and also what you should be expecting. 

Of course it is important to remember that your little one’s attention span is much shorter than a three and four-year old….so when choosing books for your one or two-year old…be sure to choose colorful books with large simple pictures.  For your one or two-year old….be sure NOT to worry about the words in the book….your goal is to use simple one and two-word phrases to describe what you see in the picture.

In reference to the picture at the top of this post….if this was a page in a picture book….you could say something like: boy sick…..or….boy in bed.  Keep your language simple…select books that are colorful…and pictures that are simple.  Of course your book selection will change as your little one gets older. 

Be sure that the books you select are visually pleasing to your little ones…..this way she will be motivated to sit….listen…look at the pictures….and be interested in attending to a story.


I love the books by Eric Carle…one of my favorites is Brown bear, Brown bear What do you See? 

When turning the pages in the book….you can simply describe the color of the animal and then of course name the animal.  So for the picture of the brown bear above…you can point to the picture and then say: Brown Bear.  Remember….as I stated above….your little one’s attention span is shorter than a three and four-year old….so be sure to remember that with regard to your expectations. 

****What I also love about the brown bear book is that at the end of the story….there is a page with all of the animals… your one and two-year may not be able to point to the pictures just yet….however…be sure to help your child to understand language by pointing to the pictures and naming them as you point to them.  After many repetitions….and as your little one gets closer to the age of two…be sure then to ask her: Point to red bird.  If she is unable to….point for her.  This simple activity works on her understanding of language…because as you use your language and point to the named picture….she will begin to understand language…because you are tieing language (the words: red bird) and the action (pointing to the picture).


Have fun!


About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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