top of page

Top 5 books to teach your toddler English

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

So, you want your toddler to hear a bit of English too; and you're not sure where to begin? Reading is a great way to do this. But what will you read, especially as there are so many books in English to choose from? Well, out of hundreds of awesome books, here are 5 for you to begin with.

But before we dive right in, let's remind ourselves of how much a toddler can take in. An average toddler, in her first language (mother tongue), can already understand several words. However, when introducing English as a second language, it's helpful to do it in small doses. These 5 books have been carefully chosen to help you do just that.

The very hungry caterpillar

Great toddler books use the simplest of language and this book does just that. It's about a hungry caterpillar that eats and eats and eats all sorts of things before he becomes a butterfly.

Make this activity your own. If you have toy food, arrange them in a row. They don't have to be the same food items as in the book. Get a puppet or any toy, and make eating noises as he goes over them. After each food item, ask your child 'Is he still hungry?'. Wait for your child's response before you move on to the next toy. When the toy has finished eating up all the toys, make a loud burp! Your child will love the noise.

Where's Spot?

A great way to teach prepositions (or position words). Little Spot is hiding and it's dinner time. Where could he be? Mum looks behind, in and under a range of things.

Make it your own. Play a game of hide and seek with your child to reinforce prepositions. Use simple language to explain what's happening. 'Where's mummy hiding?' 'Behind the door' etc. You can find more ideas here.

Dear zoo

A fun way to teach adjectives (describing words) and some animal names. A child writes to a zoo and asks for a pet. He is sent all sort of animals that are not great pets, before he is finally sent one that works.

Make it your own. Take some toy animals (or even pictures will do). Place them in front of you. You think of one of those animals and describe it. Do not describe it in too many words. Just simple descriptions like, something big, something fluffy, something playful will do. Your child needs to find out the animal you are describing. Typically, a toddler will struggle to take on the teacher's role in this game, but if you are playing it with an older child, give him a chance to describe the animal and you guess what it is.

From head to toe

A book that teaches body parts and some fun verbs that you can build lots of movement into. It's perfect for fidgety kids who struggle to sit through a book and just listen. In this book, different animals do different actions they are good at and ask the child if they can do the same.

Make it your own. Play a game of Simon Says with the new actions you've learnt. Sing 'head and should, knees and toes', but change the words to other body parts (for example, 'eyes and ears ad nose and tongue'). Stand in front of a mirror and make different, twisty shapes with your body. Who can make the twistiest shape?

First 100 words

A great book to teach very early vocabulary. Use the book the describe words in the language your child already knows before saying it in English. Not all of the words will be early words for the culture you are from, but most of it should work.

Make it your own. A Queen of Sheba or I spy game will help to reinforce the words in the book.

Books are a great way to build interaction and bond with your child. And of course, don't forget the obvious merits of reading with your child: building vocabulary, developing attention and listening skills among others. Look here for ideas on how to read with your child. For more advice on teaching English to your child, check out this link.

Have you tried our Brainy English app (by Brainy Bug Resources)? With hundreds of words and sentences, our app is designed to make English easy for your child.

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page