CSP Spotlight: Reading to Infants and Toddlers

Experts believe that reading to your child every day is one of the most important things parents and other adults can do.  Here are ideas for using this reading time to build your young child’s literacy skills while keeping it fun for both of you.

Reading to 0-3 year olds

Make reading a part of every day

Try to read to your child for at least 15 minutes each day. Bedtime is an especially good time to read together.

Hold your child while you read

Sit with your child on your lap as you read. Let him or her hold the book and help turn the pages.

Read with fun in your voice

Use your face, body and voice to make reading fun. Use different voices for different characters.

Know when to stop

If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. A few minutes of reading are ok. Don't continue reading if your child is not enjoying it. With practice, your child will be able to sit and listen for a longer time.

Talk about the pictures

Point to the pages and talk about the pictures in the book. Ask your child to look at the pictures for clues to what the story is about.

Show your child the words

As you read the book, run your finger along the bottom of the words. Soon your child will realize it is the words that are read and not the pictures.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc.’s Head Start/Early Head Start and Early Intervention programs engage families and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.    Safe and healthy children are ready to learn and explore their world. 

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