What books should you read with your two-year-old? Let me help you find brilliant books you’ll enjoy together with my handy guide to the types of books you should be looking for…
Lift the flap books
I’m yet to meet a toddler who doesn’t like a lift-the-flap book. These books are brilliant for getting your child engaged in books, and there’s a wide range to choose from.
If your two-year-old is still a bit ‘enthusiastic’ with books, you’ll want to look for ones with more robust flaps, such as fabric flaps, or ones that are embedded in the page itself. But don’t worry if you have a few flap casualties along the way – they can usually be stuck back down again with a bit of sellotape, and the children barely notice the difference!
If your child really is too rough with lift-the-flap books you should take a look at books with pull-out-tabs as an alternative. These have the same ‘reveal’ function and are usually a lot more durable.
Brilliant for in the bath, but also for messy and wet play, or for having at the table while you’re trying to get food served. It’s so important to have books easily accessible for your toddler, and using them in alternative settings (such as the bath or in the kitchen) is a great way to nurture their love of books.
In my mind, rhyming books are the kings of the book world! Not only are they really great to read for us adults, but the rhyme means that as we read, your child is absorbing the language and story more easily than a regular book (think how many nursery rhymes your toddler can sing right now!). Take a look at this post from children’s author Dr Niamh to find out how.
Top rhyming books in our house include Where’s My Teddy?, Cave Baby, Never Shake a Rattlesnake, and What the Ladybird Heard. And if you’re looking for shorter rhyming books, any of the Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt books are a sure-fire hit (Toddle Waddle, Hippo has a Hat, etc).
Longer story books
If you’ve been reading to your little person for a while now, you’ll probably find they’re happy to sit through longer stories.
There’s still a place for shorter tales of course (when you need to speed up the bedtime routine, for example), but longer stories will help your child learn to concentrate and stimulate their imagination too.
Plus, it opens up a whole new range of books for you to choose from. Our favourite books for two-year-olds include A Squash and a Squeeze, Supermarket Zoo, Gracie Grabbit and the Tiger, and Peace at Last.
If you don’t already have some, now is a great time to introduce counting books to your collection. Your two-year-old will love joining in as you count what you can see on the page. Encourage them to count along by pointing at the items, and see if they can trace any numbers you spot on the page.
Rod Campbell’s Farm 123 is one of our family favourites and I’m in love with My Book of Counting which is brilliant for teaching children to count in a line and has lots of animal names to learn.
Multi-button sound books are really popular with children at this age. Look out for books that have a variety of sound buttons to press as you read through the story; this is another great way of getting your child engaged in the book – encourage them to find the correct button for each page. Noisy Farm by Axel Scheffler is one all my boys enjoyed.
Spotting books revolutionised the way I shared books with my boys, and I was blown away by how quickly they developed their vocabulary when we introduced them. Our favourite spotting book of all time is Thomas’ Wonderful Words Book, but there are lots of different ones on the market.
Essentially, a spotting book is a book that has lots of different things to find on each page, and some are easier than others. They’re great because you can just look at one spread on its own (if you’ve got time to kill in a waiting room, for example), or you can use it as a game to enjoy together. My boys are pretty competitive and so like to see who can spot the items first!
At two years, you’ll want to go for simpler spotting books then look for more taxing ones as your child’s skill develops. This Counting Cars book by Priddy is a great first spotting book.
There are over 200 books to choose from in my 3 for £10 deal – all handpicked by me! Visit my shop to see the full range.