It’s not uncommon for our Learning Team to hear the following question: We have a shelf full of books, but my toddler picks the same one over and over again. Sometimes we read it three times in a row. I can recite it in my sleep!
Yep, we’ve been there.
Repetition is kind of a thing with toddlers. And there’s a reason for that.
Dr. Maria Montessori observed that when children get into a state of flow, or deep concentration, they are happy. They have an inherent drive to find that state, where they are doing something at just the right level for their abilities. You’ve probably seen it.
When your little one is trying to do something too difficult, they get frustrated or anxious. When it’s too simple, they do the action and move on. But when the challenge is just right, they are content to play. In other words, when they are learning, they are satisfied.
What you’ll notice
What concentration might look like is repeating the same action over and over again. Perhaps it’s dumping toys out of a small basket or flipping a switch back and forth.
(The Monti Kids® Program is a 12-Level curriculum with activities for encouraging focus while building cognitive and motor skills for babies and toddlers.)
So why are we reading the same book every day?
Babies and toddlers love to repeat books over and over because it supports their concentration. When they hear the same language — both vocabulary and patterns — repeated, they can absorb it more deeply.
As they begin to anticipate the words, tones, and pictures, their appreciation for language and comprehension are both increasing.
Parents will often find with young children who like the same books repeated that once their child starts speaking, they will start narrating these books out loud to themselves.
Need book recommendations for toddlers? We have a list of the best Montessori-aligned books for babies and toddlers.