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Choosing Books to Read to Your Child

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

A good starting point with choosing books to read to your child is picking books that you loved as a child, especially since you will be reading these books over and over again. Reading the same book each night at bedtime signals the end of the day, gives your child a sense of security, and helps them begin to connect the spoken with the written words. Going to the library to choose books and attend story time is a great experience, and it can help your child become more comfortable with exploring different books. So, how do you choose books to read to your child?

  1. For Infants and Toddlers: At this age, it is the rhythm of the language and the familiar voice that attracts your child’s attention. It’s best to choose books with a very simple story and pictures of things that are familiar to your child. Board books are good bet, since your child can touch it and hold it like a “real” book. Touch-and-feels books are a great idea, as well, since infants and toddlers learn through their senses.

  2. For Ages Two to Four: Children need concrete experiences before they can understand the abstract, so fantasy books should be avoided at this age. Poetry can be fun since children love rhymes and enjoy learning poems. Your child can also “read” books with you, after they become familiar with them. This is also the age where children should be taught how to handle books: turning pages carefully, holding it gently, how to care for it.

  3. Ages Four to Six: At this age, most children can tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction. This will widen the range of books that they can read. They understand humor better than they enjoyed at younger ages. Choose books that foster your child’s curiosity about how the world works, and listen to your child’s interpretation of a story. This will give you more information about their level of understanding and help both of you pick out other books!

Remember to have fun while reading with your child! Change your voice for different characters, leave room for your child to ask questions, and act out your child’s favorite part of the story.

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