How to Choose Books for a Young Child
Reading together is a very special activity to share with a child. With age-appropriate books, children can become enthralled with reading at a young age. Here are some ways to select books preschoolers will enjoy!
For 2 year olds select:
- Books with things to touch, move and play with – pop-up, lift-the-flap and texture books.
- Simple, short stories about familiar topics, like babies or animals.
- Stories with repetition or rhyme, and simple colorful pictures.
- Sturdy board books, with pages they can turn by themselves.
Three and four-year-olds have longer attention spans, and may be able to sit for 20 minutes or longer while reading and talking with you about a book. Remember that children in this age group still have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality, so while they will enjoy fantasy books, some fantasies might frighten them.
For these preschoolers choose:
- Stories about things or activities that are familiar to them (a trip to the zoo, a birthday party, etc.)
- Picture vocabulary books and alphabet books – they love to learn new words and recite their letters
- Books about animals and adventures;
- Funny books with riddles or jokes
- Books with rhymes and repetition which they will often memorize and recite along with you.
- Simple factual books, particularly for those children who have very specific interests like trucks, trains, dinosaurs, fire engines or fish.
Tips for Making Reading with A Child A Special Time:
- Sit in a comfortable place, close to your child, or with your child on your lap. A young child will associate the warm feeling of being close to someone who loves them with the pleasure of reading.
- Read or look at the book at a pace with which your child is comfortable.
- Even the youngest two-year-olds enjoy selecting their own books. Let your child pick what she/he would like to read from the family collection, or go to the library and let your preschooler select books to borrow.
- If your child does not want to be read to, don’t force the issue. Reading time should be fun, not stressful. Some children will happily enjoy having a conversation with you, or they might prefer to play a word game or enjoy making up a story with you. The oral communication and the one-on- one time are often equally valuable to looking at a book.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parent-Child Home Program, Inc.
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