Reading to babies and toddlers is a shared experience and should be a relaxed and happy time - for you and your child. Here are some tips to help you choose the right books to encourage a love of reading from the youngest age.
The very youngest babies of 0-6 months like books with bold shapes, strong colours and vivid patterns. Boost bonding with your baby by choosing books that are light and easy for you to hold at the same time as your baby. Babies love the sound of your voice, so choose books with a warm sing-song or rhythmic text you can enjoy reading aloud.
For this age group, try DK's series Baby Sparkle which is packed with twinkle and glitter to stimulate young minds.
For older babies 6-12 months, choose books with plenty of gentle surprises in them to encourage curiosity. Big simple flaps, peekaboo board books and tactile books with pages they can safely grasp are perfect for this, such as DK's Sophie la girafe books.
Babies this age enjoy looking at themselves – so books with mirrors are fun to share. They are also fascinated by pictures of other smiley babies and toddlers, animals and vehicles so simple photographic picture books with a read-aloud text are perfect for shared reading. Get your baby interacting with My First Trucks and My First Animals.
Toddlers – 1-3 years – enjoy recognizing familiar things in their books. This is the age when toddlers are acquiring new vocabulary and they like to point things out and say the corresponding words aloud. Toddlers love to repeat things over and over again so books with simple first picture-word panels or repetitive texts help vocabulary building and language development. They also love to play with books. Choose fun novelty that they can repeat – strong flaps and pull-tabs, sounds and touch-and-feel panels allow toddlers to learn as they play. Two DK board books series that you and your toddler may like are Feel and Find Fun and Noisy Peekaboo!
Reading tips from Sophie Mitchell, Publishing Director, DK Children's 0-9 and Education; first featured on Baby Bjorn website.