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Pre-reading Skills for Toddlers


>> Expert Advice from our ECE Expert: Kim Davies <<

Did you know that looking at the pictures in books is one of the first stages of learning to read? When you’re reading aloud to toddlers, help them learn by encouraging them to look at and discuss what they see in the pictures. They may seem young, but toddlers are smart and capable of developing pre-reading skills.

Adults may find it boring and wonder why toddlers love reading and re-reading the same books over and over again. Toddlers feel completely engrossed in these books as they study the pictures and colours, listen to the rhythm, rhyme or patterns of the words as they are being read aloud by an adult, and master the feel and texture of the pages as they turn. For toddlers, there is a certain sense of control and predictability in a book that they have read and re-read. For toddlers, repeatedly “reading” a book (or looking at the pictures and discussing what they see) is hard work, but it stimulates their language and cognitive development. Always offer positive praise and encourage toddler’s reading.


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Nikki is the owner/director of Seasons Family Centre. She completed a diploma in photography at Fanshawe College, followed by a degree in psychology at the University of Western Ontario. Shortly after she finished a post-graduate diploma at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. She is a Registered Canadian Art Therapist. Over the next few years she extended her education through various courses in psychology, counselling and play therapy at George Brown College, Hincks Delcrest and Cross Country Education. For the past several years Nikki has been running art programs all across the city of Toronto at various schools, community centres, libraries and private homes. She also runs play therapy groups at Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Offices as well as private art therapy sessions. Nikki has taken several courses in baking and cake decorating through the Wilton certification program.

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