Your child is developing reading skills before they can hold a book. The sounds you make as you narrate your nightly read-aloud and the pictures your little one points to as you read both contribute to their understanding of words and language.
Between birth and age 2 — when everything is awe-inspiring for your child, but quickly becomes familiar — there are little things you can do to help them explore the world around them. Books are a wonderful medium for these moments of discovery and recognition, not to mention bonding time with your baby.
Introduce your child to the world through books with these four reading activities for ages 0 to 2.
1. Use Your Voice
Animal noises, tongue-clicking, blowing raspberries, and singing: No one loves these funny sound effects and songs more than your baby. Don’t be afraid to “perform” as you read. Your baby will start to imitate you, and your first “conversation” may ensue.
2. Be a Role Model
One of the top tips for building literacy in kids is to be a reading role model and show them how you love to read. You may be surprised to find your baby leafing through a pile of books as well.
3. Create a Picture Book
Find a plastic-coated baby’s photo album that you can put pictures into. Your baby will love leafing through pictures of their loved ones, as well as photos of themselves. As you “read” the photo album, tell your baby stories of the fun facts and stories about the person they’re looking at. Pretty soon, they’ll be able to leaf through the book and identify every picture.
4. Identify Their Interests
You’re driving in the car and pass a construction site. As a jackhammer rips through the pavement, a backhoe lifts dirt from a pit. From the car seat in the back, you can hear your child go wild. This is a kid who needs a book about construction vehicles (like the popular I Am a Dump Truck)! Whether your little one demonstrates an interest in dogs, flowers, or balls, there’s a book with pictures that will fascinate them.
Encourage a love of reading with help from our guide, which includes book recommendations by interest, tips for getting your child to read for fun, and much more.
Shop books and activities for early learners up to age 2 below. You can find more books and activities at The Scholastic Store.