Books containing lots to look at and identify and a sense of humor are fun for older toddlers. Wordless books offer great opportunities to explore the details on the page. Ten Minutes Till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann (Putnam) is a hilarious look at what happens when a little boy's pet hamster offers 10-minute hamster tours on a Web site and the hordes arrive just before bed. Her Good Night Gorilla (Putnam) follows the escapades of a zoo full of animals as the gorilla steals the keys from the night watchman.
When reading to your youngster, ask questions to help him learn to predict what's going to happen next or about choices the characters are making. "Do we do that in our house?" "What time of day is this?" Making these kinds of connections is key to learning in the future.
Make music and art an important part of your toddler's day. Dancing not only helps your youngster's large muscle skills but also enhances his neurological connections. Cutting, tearing and pasting offer great personal satisfaction when the artwork is displayed on the refrigerator, but they also stimulate the brain.
Choose beautifully illustrated books. You're helping your youngster to develop artistic taste that will last a lifetime.