Q: My son is 6 months old. Is this too young to start reading together?
A: It’s never too early to start. While 6 months may seem young to read to a baby, it is actually in these first months and years that early reading skills are developing. Literacy starts with a love of, and interest in, books. The goal at this age is for your son to have pleasurable and positive experiences with books so that he wants to keep learning about them. So go ahead and provide your child with chunky board books or soft cloth books that he can safely look at, chew on, and read with you. Choosing sturdy books like these means that you don’t have to say “no” or take the book away, which may build negative feelings about book play. Let him explore books in the ways he knows how right now.
Continuing the conversation after you have read helps to strengthen their understanding of the story and maximize their oral learning experience. By making reading time “conversation” time, both you and your children will enjoy the experience more.
This booklet offers ideas for nurturing early literacy skills through everyday interactions children from birth to 5 years.
Babies learn to become good communicators when their caregivers respond to their sounds and actions. They learn to love books and reading when their caregivers read to them often. By the time they are three, they understand stories with plots, and they can tell you stories with a beginning, middle, and end. Learn how you can help your infant and toddler develop all of the skills necessary to become confident readers and writers.
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