Reading spaces for a toddler

A great way to create a toddler’s interest in children’s books is to integrate books into their play environment. Often times, we get stuck with the idea that books belong on shelves or in a basket on the floor. We want to keep them organized and clean but for toddlers, the best place for a book is where the toddler likes to play….

Little red reading wagon

My niece, Clara, loves to go for wagon rides around the house and her parents discovered that while riding around in her wagon, Clara will sit and look through her books…

Clara’s mom and dad eventually plan to move the wagon outside but Clara is enjoying it so much inside that they have decided to wait. So, for now this is Clara’s special reading wagon…

Creating reading spaces

Take a look at your toddler’s play space and keep books close by. Don’t worry so much about keeping the books organized on a shelf or in a basket. Besides, have you ever noticed that if you put a book on a shelf or in a basket that the first and often the only thing a toddler will do is take all of the books off the shelf or out of the basket? Perhaps integrating books in other ways throughout your toddler’s play space will invite the toddler to take a look at the book rather than just toss the books aside.

Safety tip…

Clara likes to stand up in the wagon too and her mom and dad have to remind her that she has to sit down to play in the wagon. So remember – Don’t leave a toddler unattended in a wagon!

Literacy Beginnings

We are on to chapter four of our book blog party. Prekinders will discuss chapter 4 – An Organized, Engaging Environment for Learning so be sure to stop by!

By |2011-06-30T06:00:28+00:00June 30th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Candy Lawrence June 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Yes yes yes… we had some tadpoles in the room at preschool, so I put a book about frogs nearby and it got ‘read’ to death! This also helps kids make the connection that books can contain information about real things. I also have used fairy tale books in the puppet and home corner areas, which encouraged the kids to act out familiar tales… a great strategy.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 30, 2011 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your comment Candy – your examples are excellent! I love the frog book by the fishbowl!

  2. Kristina July 1, 2011 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Absolutely love this idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 1, 2011 at 8:20 am - Reply

      Thank you Kristina:)

  3. pammypam July 1, 2011 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    i stumbled across this revelation in my older 2s class: kids will ‘read’ a book wherever you put it. i keep books all over the classroom: in the science area, the book nook, and even in the dramatic play area; however, sometimes those books get put back in the book nook. i think sometimes kids are ingrained to put books back “where they belong”?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Haha – well I suppose it is better for them to decide on their own to put them back on a shelf than to just want to dump them off the shelves! I love how you put them strategically throughout the room!

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