Late Talkers

10 Books That Get Toddlers Talking

November 30, 2022

I’m Brooke
I'm a speech therapist with a mission to make speech therapy simple and accessible! 
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Fostering a love for reading early on builds strong foundation for literacy

But it can be hard to keep little ones engaged, right? Here a few tips to choose books for your toddler (and their toddler attention span)

  1. Choose books that are interactive like lift the flap blooks or books with a sensory component
  2. Choose books that don’t have a ton of words to keep your toddler engaged and to keep them from getting overwhelmed by too much language
  3. Choose books that are repetitive so there are opportunities to hear words over and over (and say them when your little one is ready!)

Books are great for talking too!

Here are some tricks encourage more talking with books:

  1. If there is something that happens repeatedly in the book like opening a flap, say that word each time you do the action so your toddler can hear the word repeatedly
  2. If there is phrase that is said over and over, try pausing to encourage your little one to fill in the blank
  3. Add fun sounds to encourage imitation. If there is a car say, “Beep Beep!” as you point to the car
  4. Try having your toddler face you while reading so they can see your mouth and facial expressions as you say different words

Here are a few of favorite books to use in speech therapy with late-talking toddlers:

My First Learn to Talk Book: 

We typically hear little ones imitate fun sounds before they imitate words. This book, written by a Speech Pathologist, is full of these sounds. You can model sounds and gestures to encourage your little one to imitate. It also has a wonderful close-up pictures of toddlers saying the sounds

Brown Bear:

I love to sing this one to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle.” Add the animal sounds and actions to encourage imitation. Pause on wait before saying, “me” and model gesturing to yourself

Dada/ Everything is Mama

 I love the repetition of these books. You can incorporate pausing and waiting to encourage your little one to imitate, “Mama” or “Dada”

Goodnight Gorilla

This wordless picture book provides so many opportunities for you to share what’s happening, A recent study found that when books only had pictures, the caregivers did more labeling and describing. The study also found that little ones produced more utterances with these same types of books, meaning they were verbalizing more! I love model “Night Night” and “shh:” throughout

My First Noisy Books:

The sounds in this book are perfect for encouraging your little one to imitate. You can also target a word like “push” or “help” throughout

Oh No, Poo Poo/Pee Pee: 

This silly book was written by a Speech Pathologist. Practice telling the dinosaur and puppy, “No, no” or encourage your little one to imitate “eww” if they are beginning to imitate sounds Link here (not available on Amazon): Bjorem Speech Books | Speech Therapy | OH NO Poo-Poo – Bjorem Speech®

Let’s Go, Puppy!

Written by a Speech Pathologist, this book is perfect for working on early words and gestures as well as beginning sequencing as you follow puppy throughout his day! Watch a video me reading this with Aubrey here:

All Better:

For beginning talkers, I ignore the text and simplify the language such as, “Puppy went boom!” You can model gesture such as blowing a kiss and words like boo-boo and ouch!”

Where’s Spot?

This book is great for yes, no questions, copying animal sounds, and copying actions. Knock on the door before opening to see if your little one will copy you and model “open” in an exaggerated way to model functional vocabulary

Melissa and Dog Popping Books:

These books are interactive and great for keeping little ones engaged! Model “Pop” each time you pop a bubbles. Once you little one is using more words, model a longer phrase, “Pop the _____” to work towards word combinations. I love the “Goodnight” one because we also practice telling the animals, “Night Night” and gesturing “Shhh!”

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