Birth-Five School Readiness

Why is Reading Important? Reading

A lot of parents ask when to start reading with their babies. The truth is: it’s never too soon! A newborn may not understand the words or keep focused, but reading forms a bond. It is also the start of early literacy development.

Reading with your child: 

  • Builds speech skills
  • Expands vocabulary and language development
  • Introduces pre-literacy skills
  • Enhances communication skills
  • Improves concentration
  • Expands imagination
  • Develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Supports a love for books

Tips for Reading Together

What …

  • Spend at least 20 minutes reading with your child each day
  • Snuggle – get close and lap read together every day
  • Tell a story – make one up or tell one about a family member or big event

How ...

  • Read the same book over and over – it’s OK!
  • Change your voice or use animation to make listening fun
  • Visit the public library together
  • Make sure your child sees you reading
  • Comment on the story or pictures and wait for your child’s response
  • If your child can't sit still, it's OK. Keep reading or bring the book back out later
  • No screen time (TV, computers, etc.) for children under two. Spend this time reading instead