Parents, explore these resources if you’re looking for help picking out appropriate books and materials for your young child, or if you need ideas for how to get your child on track toward being a fluent and enthusiastic reader!
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Tips for picking out books for your BABY:
- Start reading to your baby as soon as possible. And not just books! Read signs, labels, flyers, anything with print.
- Babies need to discover books using all their five senses, so sturdy board books and soft, fabric books with varying textures are perfect for this age.
- Select books with bright, high-contrast illustrations, since your baby’s sense of vision is still developing.
- Books based on songs, like If You’re Happy and You Know It and The Itsy Bitsy Spider, are a great way to keep your baby’s attention!
Tips for picking out books for your TODDLER:
- Toddlers are active and full of energy, so it may be challenging to keep them seated and listening to a story for long, so don’t worry if you’re not able to finish an entire storybook. Stay attuned to your child’s attention level, and don’t force daily reading time too much beyond their limit.
- Choose simple books that show things familiar to your child’s daily life (getting dressed, taking a bath, playing outside, animals, families, food, etc.). These books are more geared toward building your child’s background knowledge and basic vocabulary than on telling a story.
- Toddlers especially love lift-the-flap books!
- Look for books with a lot of rhyming and repetition, to encourage your child’s interaction with the story.
- Toddler-appropriate books focus on building your child’s background knowledge and basic vocabulary (opposites, colors, sounds, shapes, etc.).
Tips for picking out books for your PRESCHOOLER:
- Involve your child in choosing books.
- Look for books that tell a story or have simple, rhyming text that your child can memorize.
- Preschoolers love books that are funny and surprising, especially books about their favorite topics or interests (whether it’s princesses or dinosaurs!).
- Choose alphabet or counting books, as your child is beginning to master these concepts.
- Feel free to ask questions about the characters or action in the story. Ex: “Look at his face! How do you think he’s feeling?” or “What do you think will happen?”
- Let the child narrate the story to you using the illustrations and other context clues.
GREAT RESOURCES TO CHECK OUT:
Pennsylvania Center for the Book
Zero to Three
Living with Ones and Twos
Exploring Senses with Infants and Toddlers
Best Kids Apps
Common Sense Media: App Reviews
Choosing Good Books for All Ages