Reading to Infants & Toddlers

Feb 27, 2017

Research shows that reading to young children has many benefits.  Not only are you building an early foundation for literacy and language, but the quality time spent together reading enhances attachment and strengthens the relationship between the reader and the baby.  Parenting educators talk a lot of about early literacy during our classes, but that does not mean we expect babies to read!

  • Although newborn babies will not understand the meaning of the book at first, this time allows your baby to be exposed to so many new words. Vary the tone of your voice as you read, snuggle in with your baby, and make it fun for both of you!  They will enjoy the closeness and the sounds that you are making as you read.
  • At first, choose simple books with contrasting colors. It will allow your baby to focus on each picture.  Research has shown that infants are receptive to patterns in black and white.  You can also point to pictures and elaborate on each page. "Look, this is a dog, just like our dog! It has brown ears and spots!"
  • Skipping pages is fine and don't worry about reading all the text! If your little one wants to turn the page, let him lead the way!
  • Toddlers will enjoy books about familiar things in their environment—babies, animals, toys and family.  This is a good time to begin concept books—counting, numbers, letter, and colors.  

Remember that reading is a great tool to build language. Children learn to sit longer as they develop, so keep reading even if they are slide off of your lap or play with a toy; they are hearing and absorbing your words!  Enjoy spending this moment with your child each day.  Before you know it, they will be snuggled in their own bed reading their favorite chapter book on their own!

Tags: Reading
Category: Parenting Topics