Reading aloud is the single most beneficial thing you can do to help your child become a reader. Board books and picture books (for when they are a little older) help build your child’s vocabulary, teach them how a story works and will even bring you closer together with your child.
Start reading aloud to your child as soon as they are born. Babies are drawn to the sound of your voice and will enjoy the special time you spend reading and cuddling together. To help you choose books, check out our list of Recommended Board Books for Babies and look for:
- Board books with sturdy pages, which make it easier for baby to hold the book
- Books with simple, colorful pictures with or without words
- Books with photos of other babies and animals
- Books with familiar objects, people and activities
Try to spend at least 15 minutes a day reading to your baby. More tips:
- Find a quiet time to read – babies find the sound of your voice soothing
- Hold and cuddle your baby when you read (when they start toddling around, you can continue reading even as they run around!)
- Follow your baby’s lead – it’s not reading a story as much as it is a talking experience, so you can start on any page, and look more closely at a picture your baby shows interest in
- Relate what you read, or see in pictures, to your baby’s experience “Look that baby has a nose. I’m going to kiss your little nose!”
- Hands on learning – let your baby hold and mouth a plastic or sturdy board book, while you read a second book
- Have lots of board books all over your house so that your child will see that books are a part of their everyday world
- Read it again! Repeated readings are good for your baby’s language development
Earn a free board book for your child by participating in the “Reading Colors Your World” Summer Reading program.
Starting June 7, pick up a free Baby Kit at the Cedar Mill Main Library. The kit includes a scarf, a “Rhyme, Sing, Play” booklet, a reading log and more early literacy information for you, including ideas for practical things to do with your child to help promote literacy and guide them to becoming readers.