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Let’s talk about books (Part 3)

In my previous blogs, we have explored book types and ways to introduce them to your children from 0 to 24 months). In this blog, we will discuss the same topic for children from 24 to 36 months.

As children grow older, they start to gain awareness of their environment. The richer their environment is with interaction, the faster they will develop their language skills. Books play a crucial role to develop those communication skills and prepare them for literacy skills later on.

Between 24 to 36 months, children turn from first word users to word combiners. This is the time to talk about feelings, cause/effect of events, discuss what happens next, what happened before, relate it to an experience the child had, compare and contrast things etc. It is time to build a more advanced language structure to prepare for literacy. Choose books with predictable patterns and repetitive phrases such as Brown bear Brown bear What do you see? By Bill Martin Jr. Furthermore, theme books like zoo animals, going to the supermarket develop a specific lexicon related to a specific environment, e.g. aisles at the supermarket, striped zebra, furry monkey at the zoo, etc. Another type of books is short stories with a main character. They should be simple, with a clear beginning and ending with familiar events. The stories could also introduce the child to new experiences such as using the potty, moving out to a new house, going to the doctor or having a new sibling.

Step by step, start reading texts in books by pointing to words to show children that we read from left to right (in English). It is as this age (36 months) when they start to understand that written words have a meaning even if they still cannot read.

Remember to always:

  • Sit facing your child.

  • Take turns in interaction.

  • Keep the conversation going by following your child’s interests.

  • Use your voice! Keep it fun! Act surprised, whisper when needed, and exaggerate happy reactions when discussing happy endings.

  • Use simple sentences, talk slowly, stress on target words, point at pictures to link them to new words.

  • Re-read the same book over and over again in one sitting or in different occasions.

  • Link events happening in the book to your daily routine, or a previous experience.

  • Role play events in the book.

Stay tuned for a new topic in the upcoming blog!

Lear more about Rana here


- Jan Pepper and Elaine Weitzman, It Takes Two To Talk (5th edition), (2017), The Hanen Centre, Ontario, Canada.

- Cindy Conklin, Elaine Weitzman, Jan Pepper, Anne McDade & Tamara Stein, Making Hanen Happen ITTT, Leaders Guide for Hanen Certified Speech-Language Pathologists/Therapists, (May 2018), The Hanen Centre, Ontario, Canada.

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