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Why toddlers love repetition

 
At your toddler’s insistence, you may have read the same book and sung the same song ten times or more in a row. It may seem tedious to you, but there are good reasons why toddlers love repetition and like to hear the same things over and over again.
At your toddler’s insistence, you may have read the same book and sung the same song ten times or more in a row!

It may seem tedious to you, but there are good reasons why toddlers love repetition and like to hear the same things over and over again.

Toddlers love repetition because it feels familiar and comforting to them and it also helps them to learn.
 

How repetition helps toddlers to learn


From around the age of 2 years old, you will notice your toddler repeating the same words and phrases constantly.

By the time they’re 3, they will also start asking for their favourite stories and nursery rhymes over and over again.

Through repeating things, your toddler is able to take in new information each time.

This is why if you allow your toddler to choose the bedtime books you read to them, 9 times out of 10 they will choose the same one night after night!

Toddlers love stories and nursery rhymes with repeated phrases because they can eventually learn to join in.

It also helps them to learn more words and phrases each time you repeat the story or rhyme. If you deviate from the story, your toddler may well start to correct you.

After hearing their favourite book many times, your toddler may even remember it well enough to add the endings to some of the sentences. Once they know the ending to a story, they will be able to pay more attention next time you read it to them.

Repetition is your toddler's way of reminding themselves of what they know and they enjoy the excitement of getting it right each time.


How repetition helps comfort your toddler


As well as helping your toddler to learn, repetition is also comforting for them.

They want you to read the same story over and over because they can predict what's going to happen next. This gives your toddler a feeling of comfort, security and structure.

As your toddler learns more about the world around them, they may at times feel overwhelmed by all the new information they’re taking in.

Whilst adults love variety, toddlers need repeated confirmation that things will stay the same.

The repetition of a familiar story for instance, will help to reassure them that all is as it should be.

Encourage your toddler's language skills by making time every day to read to them. Use different voices to tell stories and encourage your toddler to join in with you as much as possible.

Have fun singing nursery rhymes and songs. Find out whether your local library or children’s centre runs toddler rhyme and song groups. And when you're at home, try making up rhymes just for your toddler. The sillier, the better!
 

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