Books have always played a huge part of my life. As an Air Force brat, books were one consistent thing I had during all the moves every 2-4 years. Every base had a library and I visited it often. Books were all over my bedroom and you could find me with a book often.
As an early childhood educator and homeschool parent, I know the power of books and reading. Reading to children from birth is so important for a child. In the first year to two years, it isn’t really what you are reading as much as how you are reading. You could read a recipe to an infant as long as your tone and inflection is engaging. They are hearing language and learning the rhythm of words.
There are many things adults can do to grow a book worm in their own home (or classroom!)
Be a good example
Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.-Charles Schribner, Jr.
Children learn from their caregivers. When an adult in their life reads, they are modeling what to do with a book. Children will see that reading is an enjoyable activity. Seeing an adult reading regularly will encourage a child’s interest in reading and in books.
Read to your child! Don’t just let them see you reading, involve them. Have them choose a book and read together. As you read, point to the words. This will help the child make the connection to the words on the page are the words you say.
Teach how to treat books
For 4 and 5 year old children, talk about the title, author and illustrator. It is important for them to learn that someone thought this story up, drew pictures and made it a books to share! You can encourage them to draw their own stories and you can write as they narrate. This is a pre-writing and pre-reading skill. It allows children to see their own spoken word turned into written words!
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.Emilie Buchwald
There are plenty of books to choose from, but you need to choose the best book for your child. For infants and toddlers, stick to board books that are short and have a rhythmic narrative. AS children get older books that have repeating phrases are great for them to “read” with you. Eric Carle has some really great ones for this.
Pick funny books that will make them (and YOU!) giggle! Remember the Wonky Donkey?
Choose books about things that they are familiar with. If you live in a rural community and pass livestock, perhaps some books about the farm. Teach them about the things they can connect to real life.
Reading books isn’t just to help your child with literacy. You are building memories your child will carry with them forever. One of my favorite memories is reading Richard Scarry books with my dad. We always searched for Goldbug on each page! I loved looking at every inch of that page until I found that tiny yellow bug.
When you are reading, get your child involved. You can have props to use or give them sounds or words to say. If you are reading rebus style books, have them read along or take over reading for you. Make it fun!
When a child has positive experiences with books, they are more likely to enjoy reading.
The More that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you go.Dr. Seuss
Book list for infants to 5 years old
Babies to 1 years
- Barnyard Dance
- Guess How Much I Love You
- Big Red Barn
- Peek A Who?
- Clap Your Hands
- Everywhere Babies
- Baby Faces
2 Year Olds
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear
- Mouse Paint
- Goodnight, Gorilla
- From Head to Toe
- Click, Clack, Moo
- Shades of People
- A Handful of Buttons
- Ten, Nine, Eight
3 Year olds
- Rainbow of Friends
- The Monster at the End of this Book
- Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Best Word Book Ever
- Goodnight Moon
- Going on a Bear Hunt
- Bear Snores On
- I Love You
- No, David!
4 year olds
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- Are You My Mother?
- There’s a Wocket in My Pocket
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- Polar Bear, Polar Bear
- It’s Okay to be Different
- What I Like About Me
5 year olds
- The Very Grouchy Ladybug
- Walter the Farting Dog
- Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
- Whoever You Are
- Same, Same but Different
- The Kissing Hand