“Why should I start reading to my baby when she can’t even understand the story?”
There is a misconception that reading to kids only revolves around the story and their understanding of it. But there are so many important reasons to read to babies, starting with the fact that they will learn from the very beginning that books are awesome! My parents read to me on my very first night home from the hospital. It was a short story out of a collection of 1 minute fairy tales. I read out of the same book on my daughter’s first night home from the hospital as well. I have read to her every night since then, and at 2 years old, she already loves to be read to and to look at books on her own.
Reading to babies shows them:
- Reading is a fun activity
- How to treat books
- To look at the pictures
- Reading time is a special time
When you are planning to read to your baby, you want to find books that can draw their interest and encourage them to interact. There are many great books out there that can keep babies and toddlers engaged and interested. My daughter has enjoyed the following books in particular.
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Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings by Matthew Van Fleet is a great little book for introducing children to shapes, colors, textures and animals. Each page starts with a textured shape in a different color which creatively becomes an animal when the page is opened all the way. I recommend reading this story with your child since the pages can be easily ripped if your child reads it on their own. This was one of my daughter’s first favorites and she still pulls it out for me to read almost every day.
Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth is a brightly colored counting book which counts down from ten as each ladybug is carried off by another animal. The ladybugs are raised off the page which kids will enjoy. My daughter loves feeling the raised ladybugs and counting them, and I like the sweet ending of the story.
Giggle! by Caroline Jayne Church is an adorable book about giggling and playing. It has a sound button that kids will love pressing and giggling along with. My daughter loves to push the giggle button and I can’t help but laugh along with the cute baby giggles!
Learning new textures, shapes and words through fun books!
Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt is a classic for a reason! Kids love all of the textures in this cute story about Paul and Judy. From patting the bunny’s fur to feeling their Dad’s scratchy beard, they take kids through a bunch of simple activities.
First 100 Words by Roger Priddy is a bright and simple introduction to many important first words for children. Even long before they can understand the words, kids will enjoy looking at the pictures and pointing out familiar items. My daughter loves trying to repeat the words when I say them, or making the animal noises on the animal pages. Right now, she loves to try to mimic the emotions the babies are showing (laughing, crying, yawning).
There are so many great interactive books for babies and toddlers which encourage early interaction with books. Reading with your child from a young age can develop a lifelong love of reading. Start small and check out some of these awesome books with your kids!
Do you have a favorite book that your child enjoyed as a baby or toddler? Share them in the comments!