Teaching your baby to read gives them tools to better understand their world – and even to communicate their desires. Get started with these steps.
- Step 1: Stimulate as many senses as you can while reading, making it easier for babies to remember words. For example, when pointing to the word "orange," let your baby see, touch, and smell a real orange.
- Step 2: Refrain from forcing lessons, which may set the stage for a persistent dislike of reading. Stop the lesson if your baby starts fussing so that they may associate reading with a fun time that they want to relive again and again.
- FACT: Infants can comprehend words several months before they are able to speak their first word.
- Step 3: Ask your baby questions while reading books or signs, such as "What's this?" or "What color is this?" Before you know it, your baby will respond.
- TIP: Create signs and flashcards with large fonts. Large and bold alphabets create lasting impressions in babies' minds.
- TIP: Use simple board books with pictures and labels for babies 6 months and younger. Repetitive rhyming books work best for ages 1 to 2.
- Step 4: Don't limit your teaching to books alone. Make signs or flashcards to identify household objects. Read these signs to your baby while holding or pointing to the object.
- Step 5: Introduce your baby to colorful, fun, age-appropriate books by reading to them for a short period at the same time each day. Babies respond well to routines.