Reading to very young children promotes academic skills, speech and language growth, and helps kids develop secure and loving bonds with their caregivers.
Reading to children can have such a positive impact on their development. Small infants learn by listening to adults talk and sing. Toddlers begin to turn pages and identify pictures. Preschoolers can understand simple story structures and recognize some words. PBS put together a great list of reading milestones for each age group, with tips on how to help each age group benefit most.
I often read books to children during my music therapy sessions. Sometimes I read them as written, and other times I make up simple melodies and sing the words. Occasionally I won’t read the written words at all, but we’ll sing other songs about the pictures. You can sing “Old MacDonald” along with any book with animal pictures!
Here are some of my favorite books to use with young children:
This is one of my daughter’s current favorites. The pictures are engaging and beautiful, and there are just enough words on each page to keep my 13 month old interested.
“Peek-a Who?” is the book that made Mary take over as the official page-turner when we read. It’s so much fun to read, “Peek-a….” and wait for her to turn the page to see who it is. She’s been practicing her “ooh” vowel a lot lately, too, so this book has been perfect to help her practice combining different consonants with “ooh.”
Books with black and white pictures like this are perfect for young infants. They love staring at the images and listening to your voice as you talk or sing about them. Point at the pictures while singing zoo or farm animal songs.
If you want a few more great books to add to your infant/toddler library, don’t forget these:
What are your favorite infant/toddler books? Let me know in the comments!
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