Books build better brains. Make reading with your children part of your daily routine.

General Tips:

  • Make reading part of every day, even for just a few minutes.
  • Have fun.
  • Talk about the pictures. You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
  • Run your finger along the words as you read them.
  • Silly sounds, especially animal sounds, are fun to make.
  • Choose books about events in your child’s life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
  • Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters.
  • Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this?
  • Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let your child retell the story.
  • Visit your local library often.


Reading with Your Baby:

Hold your baby on your lap while you read.

Babies like…

  • board books;
  • pictures of babies;
  • rhymes and songs from the same book over and over;
  • and when you point at pictures – this is how babies learn!

Reading with Your 1-Year-Old

  • Let your toddler move around while you are reading.
  • Name the pictures – this is how toddlers learn new words.
  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.

Toddlers like …

  • the same book over and over;
  • a book at bedtime;
  • to choose and hold the book;
  • books about food, trucks, animals, and children;
  • and books with a few words.


Reading with Your 2-Year-Old

  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.
  • Keep different books around the house and let your child choose.

Two-year-olds like …

  • to help turn the pages;
  • to fill in the words in a story they know;
  • to point and name pictures;
  • to hear the same book over and over;
  • books that are silly;
  • and animal books and animal noises.


Reading with Your Preschool Child

  • Have your child sit close or on your lap while reading.
  • Ask questions about the story.
  • Let your child tell you stories.
  • Make weekly visits to the children’s room at the library so your child can choose more books.

Children like …

  • longer books that tell stories;
  • books without words;
  • alphabet and counting books;
  • books about families, friends, and going to school;
  • and a book at bedtime.
Here are some helpful videos for parents to guide them in reading aloud with their children:

Jean Ciborowski Fahey, PhD on Raising Readers
Video from Get Ready to Read!

Three Core Concepts in Early Development: Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry
Video from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child

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Get your baby talking. If your child makes a noise, respond. It may make no sense to you, but it’s communication.