With the spirit that both good eating and reading should be an essential part of every healthy childhood, we present to you a quick book-related look at a well-defined developmental milestone of early literacy.
Newborn: Younger Than 6 Months
Never too young – It is never too early to start reading with your infant. It doesn’t matter if it’s the sports page or news item or a story or a comic strip—what actually counts is the time you share together with your baby, so have fun with it!
Infant: 6–12 Months
Developing a taste for books – At this age, whatever the babies are interested in, predictably ends up straight in their mouths. And books are no exception. Now your baby can sit in your lap, grab a book, and show her interest by turning the pages or chewing the book or batting it, you’ll find that sturdy board books are really appreciable for their drool-proof nature.
Toddler: 1–2 years
Becoming a Routine – As with food, your toddler will have figured out by now that there’s a lot more she can do with books than simply put them in the mouth. As she makes a point of holding them, trying to turn them right-side up, and bringing them to you to read again and again, you can start relating the content of the books to her real-life experiences. Picture books will be of great importance at this stage. You can help by pointing to pages and asking simple questions like, “Where’s the ball? Can you find the ball?” Before you even know it, your child will be answering these questions, completing the ends of each sentence and reciting stories back to you. Its wise not to expect a long attention span at this age, as it’s the quality of the time you spent together that really matters.
Child: 2–3 Years
Read, Read and Read Again –Two year olds thrive on routine and they love to master the power of predictability. Don’t be surprised if your child wants to read the same story over and over (and over) again instead of trying something new. If bedtime reading has now become a habit—great! This is one habit that will go a long way and you’ll never need to break it.