An alternative reading list for two-year-olds

May 19, 2014

Alternative reading lists for toddlers

My daughter loves books. Like most toddlers, she’s obsessed with Miffy, and tea-eating tigers, and bear hunts, and whatever mischief Alfie gets up to, and all the old favourites and newer versions and magical worlds that a good story can transport you to.

She loves to read them all over and over, again and again, sometimes until Alex and I crack under the repetitive pressure and hide them in the cupboard (‘Miffy Comes to Stay? I’m not too sure where it is…”)

Luckily, her love of ‘reading’ doesn’t stop there and she is always keen to expand her repertoire of favourites. However, some of her recent choices are slightly more…unusual. Here’s the current top three:

1) Interior magazines
Clearly the product of an ongoing house renovation and property-obsessed parents, she loves a good look through these, usually upside-down. I think the bright colours and sparkly houses appeal. Or maybe she’s just looking for some interior inspiration in the midst of rubble and building dust. (Runners up in this category were Topps Tiles Spring / Summer 2014, Howdens Kitchens catalogue, and John Lewis Home).

Mollie Makes magazine

2) A cupcake cookery book for children
My mum bought me this book, which is full of ideas around baking cakes with children. However, it’s now a firm reading favourite out of the kitchen. There’s a recipe on each page, and she likes to make us pick out the one we like best (hers is always the ‘funny cupcake’ we made the other day. Yes mum, really). She loves this book almost as much as she loves cake, and that’s saying something.

Cupcake books

3) The Co-op magazine
The Co-op is our new corner shop. It’s surprisingly nice, and sells things like goats cheese pizza and artisan bread, making a refreshing change from our last corner shop in Crystal Palace that sold out-of-date food and stale loaves. I always pick up the free magazine with the vague intention of looking for recipes, only to forget about it it until Alex gets cross and throws it out weeks later. But Eliza retrieved one, and has been fascinated ever since. Mainly by the food: “What’s that?” “Chicken pie” “What’s that?” “Summer fruit sorbet” “what’s THAT?” “Sparkling prosecco” And so on. It’s almost as good as the Chinese takeaway menu she was similarly obsessed with recently. Shh, don’t mention that one either.

Food magazine

If there was a point (?!) to all of this, I’d say that anything that fosters a love of reading and books in young children is good, that you can be creative outside of the children’s classics, and things like magazines are excellent for teaching about colour and people and objects.

Or, I could just say that it’s is brilliantly weird, in that uniquely toddler-like way.

What’s on your two-year-old’s slightly strange reading list this week?



  • laura redburn

    May 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    when i was younger i LOVED reading (looking at) interior magazines love started early, haha.

  • Rachel – 3yearsandhome

    May 19, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    It’s the Tesco magazine in our house and that’s our closest supermarket. Recipe books are also a huge favourite. CK also opens all of our post and gives us his rather amusing take on what’s in each envelope.

  • Polly

    May 19, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    great choices 😉 my three will read anything and everything they can find!

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    May 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Cherry loves collecting the recipe cards that Sainsburys have on stands in their stores! x

  • abigail

    May 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Theo loves to look at comics with his dad, but I guess that’s still a story book? He also loves flipping through the Brio or Thomas leaflets that come with the little trains, saying I want that one, I want this one…

  • Kate

    May 20, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Mine were (and are) obsessed with the Argos catalogue. Provides hours of “I want that” style entertainment.

    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      Genius idea! Will have to get one. Worried it might provide a bit too much ‘inspiration’ for birthdays though 😉 x

  • fritha

    May 22, 2014 at 9:24 am

    so true! I used to LOVE reading brochures when I was little, I used to make believe a different life where I could buy this or that, ha! Wilf occasionally likes ‘reading’ The Guide from the Guardian 🙂 x

  • Alison

    May 25, 2014 at 7:28 am

    You should get her onto the Waitrose magazine – much more middle class darling 😉 love hearing about Eliza. Toddlers are crazy aren’t they?

  • Laura

    May 26, 2014 at 10:05 am

    This post really made me smile – my little man loss paging through my magazines and asking what things are 🙂 That cupcake book sounds really interesting as well

    Laura x

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