13 - 15 Months

Squirming and grabbing pages: what reading looks like at this age

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Currently, reading probably doesn’t feel much like “reading.” Your toddler might touch or pat pictures in a book as if they are trying to figure out if the dog they see is alive. They might try to turn two or three pages at a time, turn the pages backwards, hold the book upside down, or not even bother to look at the pictures at all. This is all normal.  

Your 15-month-old may not be willing to sit with you and a book for even 5 minutes at a time, and likely will not want to read the book from beginning to end. Some toddlers may notice a single favourite object, like the moon, and want to find it in multiple books rather than “read” through one whole book. 

Here are some suggestions for reading to your toddler:

Read every day

Try to read for up to 5-10 minutes a day, every day. A few short sessions might work better for your toddler than one longer session.

Bring books to life

When you and your toddler are spending time with a book, use as many dramatic voices, gestures, and expressions, as you can, to make the words and pictures come alive. You might feel a little silly at first, but toddlers love silly 🙃

Read books with photos

Toddler sitting on a lap while looking at a book by Lovevery

Great books for this age have real-life, clear colour photographs, especially of things that are familiar to your toddler. 


If they name an object in the book, keep the conversation going by expanding that one word into a short descriptive phrase. For example, if they say “baw” to name a picture of a ball, you could say, “yes, ball! I see there is a ball that is big and yellow in the picture.”

Connect to the real world

Connect the book to your toddler’s real-world experiences. For example, you could imitate the sound of the dog in the picture and talk about a time when the neighbour’s dog walked by. 

Keep books everywhere

Keep a couple of books in your diaper bag, next to the changing table, even in the pockets of your car doors. 

Expect wear and tear

Toddler sitting on a woman's lap while holding the book Opposites by Lovevery
In photo: ‘Opposites’ Board Book from The Companion Play Kit

Model your enjoyment and proper care of books, but don’t expect your toddler to handle books with care for quite a while. If they seem to be purposefully tearing book pages, they may be more interested in exploring cardboard or paper. Remove the book and offer them something to tear.


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Posted in: 13 - 15 Months, Communication, Memory Development, Real World Play, Books, Child Development

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