Read and Discuss Stories

Build your child’s knowledge, reasoning, and early literacy skills.

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Follow Their Lead

When your baby starts to lose interest, try another book or stop. Short periods of reading will work best.

Involve Them

Your baby might want to hold the book, turn the pages, or pat the pictures. They might even chew on the book. It’s all part of learning! Talk in response to the ways they engage with the story.

Name That

Name and talk about the parts of the pictures that interest your child or that they point at.

Describe the Pictures

It’s not important to read all—or even any—of the words. Point to the pictures and describe the colors, shapes, and what the characters are doing. Respond to the ways your child engages with the story.

Show Your Interest

When you read, make an effort to show how interesting the story is to you using your voice and facial expressions. Say “I want to know what happens on the next page!”

Snuggle Up

Make reading a special time to connect with your baby. Hold them in your lap so they feel cozy and can see the pictures.

Baby Books

Board books with hard covers and thick pages are made especially for babies. Choose books that are short and have simple, bright pictures.

Read Regularly

Try to spend a few minutes with books each day. Your baby won’t understand for a while, but that’s fine. They will hear your voice, see the pictures, and develop good feelings about books.

Why This Matters

It is never too early to begin reading to your child—even babies enjoy it and benefit! Reading aloud from the very beginning is one of the most important things you can do to prepare your child to do well in school. Reading and talking to your child about the story, even before they understand, builds their language skills and sparks their imagination. Reading, looking at books, or sharing stories is also a special time to snuggle up and connect. Reading together creates bonds and lasting memories for parents and children.