Reading is one of the simple pleasures in life, isn’t it? It stimulates the imagination, and encourages literacy and communication skills, which is perfect for young children! Research has repeatedly shown that reading to a child from various types of books will help to improve memory, expand their vocabulary and allow them to practise listening skills.

Reading to your child is best started from 6 months and above, and it’s helpful to follow a routine to keep the readings regular. Besides know how to select age-appropriate books, parents need to understand how to read with a purpose, bringing written words to life, images to imagination, and stories off the page! Ask personalized questions, and use different tones and sounds to represent different characters. We all love watching a movie with a great story, and story reading should be just as dynamic and engaging!

Well, depending on your child’s age and developmental stage, there are suitable books for them. We’ve classified these books into 3 different stages. Read on!

Children book

Newborn to Three Years Old

If your child falls into this age group, then lucky you! Books in this category tend to have less text and much more visualization. Babies learn more through sight and touch, so books with things to move and play, such as pop-up, lift-the-flap and texture books, are the perfect choice.

As your baby gets older, they will like to reach out and grab the books. Choose a soft but sturdy vinyl or cloth books with bright colours and images. Babies are beginning to form the link between pictures and objects, and would most likely develop a preference for certain pictures, pages, or even entire stories. They’ll respond while you read, grabbing for the book or making gurgly sounds to show their interest. By 12 months, they’ll turn pages, pat or start to point to specific objects on a page, and repeat the sounds you make. Simple, short stories about familiar topics, such as animals or shapes, are ideal.

From 2 years onwards, your child would become more aware of language, so books that contain rhythmic patterns, rhyming, repetition or predictable text provides them with valuable learning opportunities to memorize stories to share and recite to others.

Older Toddlers to Five Years Old

Toddlers at this age are such curious little creatures, aren’t they?  Books at this age group are designed to be read aloud within one sitting, and would introduce basic learning through shapes, colours, alphabets and other common topics. Expect a stronger emphasis on words, averaging 200 – 300 per book, and are often in a board book format.

At this age group, kids like to connect what they learn through the books with their real-life experiences, so choose picture books that introduce concepts of diversity, and those that allow them to practice skills like letter recognition and counting.

Five to Eight Years Old

Kids within this age group enjoy stories that revolve around mystery, adventures or fantasy, many with a basic plot to tie the stories together The descriptions and sounds are typically more intriguing, with a word count ranging between 200 to 1000 words. Your child may prefer to read independently, so let them at it!

As they learn to converse and expressing their thoughts clearly, they’ll develop a longer attention span and the ability to recite and re-tell stories. Informational books about daily experiences, such as the first day of school and fear of the dark, would have them relate these to their real-life experiences, reinforcing their learning.

Reading is a wonderful activity for learning, bonding, and entertainment. Research has indicated that children who read out of pleasure tend to do better academically, so inculcate the love for reading early, and teach them phonics through books and stories, which will greatly increase their vocabulary and communication skills later in life. Curiously, children enjoy re-reading stories, which internalizes the stories, helping them to view plots and characters from multiple angles and building self-confidence! We wish you a very fun time laying the foundation for the love of reading!