Helping Your Child Learn To Read

What to do with Babies

  1. Start out by singing lullabies and folk songs to your baby. At around 6 months, look for books with brightly colored, simple pictures and lots of rhythm. (Mother Goose is perfect.) At around 9 months, include books that feature pictures and names of familiar objects.
  2. As you read, point out objects in the pictures and make sure your baby sees all the things that are fun to do with books. (Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt is a classic touch-and-feel book for babies.)
  3. Vary the tone of your voice, sing nursery rhymes, bounce your knee, make funny faces, do whatever special effects you can to stimulate your baby’s interest.
  4. Allow your child to touch and hold cloth and sturdy cardboard books.
  5. When reading to a baby, be brief but read often.

As you read to your baby, your child is forming an association between books and what is most loved -- your voice and closeness. Allowing babies to handle books deepens their attachment even more.