Why should reading and sharing stories with your babies and toddlers find a place in your day-to-day routine?

Reading with Under Threes

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Shared reading helps babies and toddlers learn new words and understand the language they hear.
These learning benefits are stronger the earlier you start reading with your kids, and the more you read together, the longer the learning goes on!

Reading together helps kids learn unique words.
Picture books contain words we don’t typically use in everyday speech. So, by sharing stories, kids learn new, unusual words and develop an extensive vocabulary.

It’s not just how often you read together, it’s how you read together.
Starting conversations about the stories, labeling objects in pictures, and describing the feelings of the characters are important tools to drive language learning.

Asking questions while you read together is a great strategy for sparking vocabulary growth.
Look for ways to get your kids talking about the story. Start with simple questions: “What is the farmer doing?” Grow into more challenging questions: “The doggie looks sad. What do you do when you feel sad?”

Building an extensive vocabulary through shared reading makes a big difference over time.
Using shared reading and conversations to build language skills helps your kids get ready for kindergarten – and beyond!

Fun Fact
Pictures books are two to three times more likely to include a word that isn’t among the 5,000 most common English words!

Adapted from ZERO TO THREE