Reading to a child is one of the best ways the parents can bond with their child. Enjoyment while reading is necessary to develop an interest in a child. If children do not learn to enjoy reading at an early age, it will most likely hinder their ability somewhere down the line.
Here are a few suggestions for the types of books to read to your child. Reading should be enjoyable and fun so read whatever the child responds to and enjoys.
Birth to 1 year
Books with real pictures – Books with pictures of flowers and birds can be “read” out to them. Even though the child cannot comprehend what is written, the pictures will allow her to associate with what baby sees around. The baby may be shown the picture of a car in the book and one of his/her own toy cars. The books should have bright colours to make children attracted towards what they are reading.
Books with various textures – Making a child “feel” what he/she is reading is a good way of developing an interest in reading. By now he/she will able to differentiate different textures like a smooth surface from a coarse one.
Song books – Singing out loud to a child from a book will make he/she focus on what is in front of he/she. This will help them concentrate and eventually instill their love for books.
1 year to 3 years
Books with pictures – Look for books that combine other senses along with the reading to help the child to interact when the story is being read out. For example, find books that have tactile pages, play sounds or have accompanying scents.
Short story board books –. Parents should help the child recognize that the lines on the page are directly correlated to the words which he/she is hearing. Pointing out each word while reading aloud will help the child grasp the patterns of the words/lines.
Rhyming books – By now he/she may have learnt a number of rhymes and he/she can easily identify the pictures in the book. He/She will also be able to make the word-sound associate.
The parents should make reading an interactive exercise. As he/she read out stories aloud, ask him/her questions about the character or plot. This will help teach the child to think. Also, make sure that the books are easily accessible. It is no good to have books around, but located in places that the child cannot easily take them out.