Reading is important to your chid’s development. Kids whose parents talk and read to them more know more words by age 2 than kids whose parents do not do the same. Daily reading helps make connections between written word and objects to the spoken word.
As parents, you can start to read to your children starting at birth.
Babies from birth to 6 months old do not understand the words but that is not the purpose. Choose books that have big visuals and pictures with minimal text. Instead, show and interact (using puppets or peepholes) with these visual books to encourage your baby to look. Singing or rhyming is also encouraged. The purpose is so your babies bond to you by listening to the tone and sounds of your voice.
From 6-12 months, babies will correlate an object to a word. This is when they start babbling and let them babble! They will start to point at pictures or grabbing the book. Parents should repeat what their baby is pointing at and act it out with hands or sounds. When your baby starts talking, choose books that allow them to repeat simple words.
After 12 months, parents should read books to their kids with a few sentences per page. Remember to keep interactions engaging and fun! Make animal sounds when reading an animal books. Babies will find that funny and imitate you. Ask them questions, such as, “What does the cow say?”, or point to an object and say, “what’s that?” Encourage your baby’s vocabulary by expanding on adjectives to her answer. Closer to 2 years old, read with your child and ask them what they liked about the book.
After 2 years old, parents should still be encouraging their children to read. Let them read without any distractions and foster a love for reading.
Check out the chart below on how reading impacts future development.