We often get asked by parents, “When should I start reading to my child?” Our answer? From day one. According to research, reading to children helps boost their language development, emotional attachment and future academic performance. To help you fully maximize the benefits, our therapists are explaining when and what types of books you should be reading with your child:
- Birth-12 Months: For children under a year old, choose books with simple text, bright colors, bold pictures and interactive options such as mirrors, puppets or sensory items.
- 1-5 years: Once children have reached their first birthdays, it’s time to introduce books with a few sentences on each page. The more fun you can add to these stories, the better. For example, add sound effects to encourage mimicking. Or, foster engagement by asking questions and encouraging your child to point to things. At this age, toddlers may also find reading calming, which may result in them asking for the same book over and over. This repetition will help them learn new words and steadily grow their vocabulary.
- 5-12 years: Although grade-schoolers will focus on reading at school, keeping up a regular routine at home is just as important. Continue reading aloud as a family to help increase children’s language skills, vocabulary development, empathy and imagination.
If you have questions about books or reading activities you can do at home, please contact our clinics at 870-633-1737.