When to start reading books to a child? What and how to read?

Mother and daughter reading books in bedroom

In this article, we will talk about reading with a child up to 1-year-old. Many parents think that it does not make sense to start reading books to a child early, because the baby still does not understand anything. However, this is not the case. The sooner you start reading books to your child, the better. Also, from the article, you will learn which books are best suited for reading up to a year, and which pictures are most interesting and useful for the baby.

Why you need to read books to a child from birth

So, to the question “When to start reading books to a child”, the best answer is “From birth!” and here’s why:

By reading books to a young child, you expand their passive vocabulary. Of course, the baby will not immediately begin to understand the meaning of what he heard, but the words will be stored in his memory, and gradually he will identify them more and more with real concepts. Thus, reading contributes to the development of speech.

Like other developmental activities at an early age, reading books teaches the child to concentrate, which is very useful for him for further training.

Any communication with parents is very valuable for the child. The child likes the sound of their parents ‘ voices. Surely you are constantly talking to your baby. Reading fairy tales and poems, looking at pictures in books will further enrich the baby’s impressions.

Reading contributes to the development of the child’s imagination. At first glance, it may seem that cartoons are no worse than books can cope with the cognitive and educational role in the life of a child. However, unlike the book, the cartoon does not give space for imagination. In addition, while watching the cartoon, the child does not have time to comprehend the information received, since he must perceive new video sequences that appear on the screen.

What and how to read?

You should start reading books with short rhythmic poems and simple fairy tales based on repeated repetition, such as The Be Books. Lauren Grabois Fischer has the perfect collection and all her books teach kids to be proud of who they are. 

When you read a book to your child, be sure to stop and explain the words that your child does not yet know and does not understand. Look at the illustrations together, tell your child about all the details shown in the picture, show where the heroes of the fairy tale are, what and how they do, where a small butterfly flies and a flower grows. From time to time, ask the baby “Where is the bear? Where’s the dog?”

Such questions are simply necessary to maintain the child’s attention, and also allow him to be an active participant in your conversation. Of course, at first, you will have to answer your own questions. But gradually (months in 9-10) the baby will start to poke a finger where you expect.

Do not be afraid to re-read the same fairy tales many times, children are very conservative in their tastes, like repeated repetitions and ask to re-read their favorite books again and again. A large number of repetitions, by the way, perfectly trains the child’s memory.

It is also useful for the child to consider the so-called textbooks for toddlers. In such books, there are many pictures that form the basic vocabulary of the baby. They feature images of clothing, toys, vegetables and fruits, transport, etc. you can make such a tutorial yourself by cutting out pictures from magazines and other unnecessary waste paper and pasting them in an album.