I am excited to be a Guest Blogger for the Beaumont Parenting Program. Besides being a fan of what the program offers to families, I am on my way to becoming a volunteer! I am also a children’s author, mother to two little girls and a former Elementary Reading Specialist. This post taps into my teaching expertise and helps you choose appropriate books for your children. I will be blogging here each month about developing your child’s love for literacy, so be sure to check in often. In the meantime, visit me on my blog, Be the Difference!
Reading to your child can begin as early as when they are in the womb! Once you have that little miracle in your arms, continue reading daily together. It is a routine that will benefit your children for years to come.
It is nice to have a book collection within the walls of your own home. Visit your local Thrift Store for great deals or go shopping at garage sales. If you haven’t had your baby yet, suggest books on your baby registry. You can keep books in the car, in your bedroom, in your child’s bedroom, a basket in the bathroom to entertain your child as you get ready for work, in the family room, at grandma’s or your caregivers, and if there are no books in the waiting room at your child’s pediatrician office, donate some! My point is, surround your family with books and you will raise a child who loves literacy.
Here is a list of suggestions when choosing books for readers beginning at birth.
For Infants 0-6 Months
Book Suggestion: Colors and First Words by Bright Baby
For children as early as newborns, choose books with simple, large pictures or designs with bright colors. Start out with board books so that your child can drool all over them and the books will sustain the abuse. Keep the books short and simple and remember large, bright and bold pictures.
For Babies 6-12 Months
Book Suggestion: The Wheels on the Bus
Children start understanding more about language around 6 months. Select bookswith photos of other babies and familiar objects like toys and household objects. Continue to stick with board books at this stage. Your child will start taking longer baths since they are sitting up now, look for plastic books you can take in the tub. Cloth books are also good ideas for this age because they can be washed and you won’t worry when your little one is licking the pages. Another great suggestion for this age is to make a photo album with pictures of your family members. Around 9 months I started teaching my daughter baby sign language. I read books that illustrated simple signs.
For Toddlers 12-24 Months
Book Suggestion: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Your child will be saying simple words now! Increase the number of books you own that have simple vocabulary words in them. Continue to read board books that your child can now carry around. This is a great age to start attending story time at your local library and checking out library books. Choose topics that your child is interested in like trains or dogs. Begin reading books about life lessons (going to the doctor, having a new baby) these lessons will help your child deal with new feelings. This is also a good time to begin using books on tape. Check out my blog post here about the benefits of books on tape and where you can find them. Touch and feel books, animal books and books with simple rhymes and repeating text are all great suggestions and will add to your child’s literacy development.
For Toddlers 24-36 Months
Book Suggestion: Mrs. Wishy Washy
For this age group, start choosing books about lessons you want to teach your child. For example, books about children who are the same and different from them to teach about diversity. Education books about concepts like time and numbers. Get books on how things work such as recycling or construction. This is also a good time to choose books about dealing with our feelings, having a new sibling. Children at this age might be able to memorize or read simple text.
What are you favorite books to share with your child?