Reading Tips for Parents

  • Show your child how you read every day for fun and work.

  • Point out to your children the printed words in your home.

  • Encourage your child to read independently in his or her own way.

  • Talk to your child as if he or she is already a reader.

  • Make reading fun using different voices for different characters.

  • Talk about the book you are reading with your child.

  • Ask questions.

  • Choose a quiet spot for you and your child to read.

  • Read aloud at least 15 minutes each day to your child.

  • Have a routine time to read, not just at bedtime.

  • Visit the library and bookstore with your child often.

  • Get a library card for yourself and your child.

  • Keep books and other reading materials where your child can reach them.

  • Take books along whenever you leave home.

  • Use books on CD (audiobooks) at home and in the car.

  • Follow along with the audiobooks with a printed copy of the book.

  • Let your child select books he or she likes.

  • Let your child read to you or tell the story by looking at the pictures in the book.

  • If you have a pet, let your child practice by reading to the pet.

Did you know???

  • Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

  • Parents are children’s first teachers and an early literacy storytime at a public library is a time for parents AND children to have FUN.

  • Public libraries provide the opportunity for children to interact with books.  Many public libraries provide baby, toddler, and pre-school storytimes.

  • Contact your neighborhood library to find out about their storytime schedules.

Age Appropriate Reading Guide



Newborn – Listens and reacts to your voice and other sounds.  Responds by cooing, gurgling, smiling, and crying.

8 months – Plays with sounds and babbles.  Can play peek-a-boo.  Waves arms and kicks feet to show excitement.

12 months – Understands simple words, reacts to hand movements, faces, and turns pages of sturdy books.


  • Hold the child in your lap and open the book to the beginning.  Let the baby hold onto the book, and play with it while you read.
  • Point out colors, shapes, animals, and people.  Make sounds like animals in the book.
  • Sing nursery rhymes and songs.
  • Choose colorful books.
  • Keep the sessions short.



Can put two or more words together to make short sentences.  Asks simple questions.  Can copy adult sounds, words, and motions.  Listens well to stories and can name objects.


  • Maintain a regular story time for the entire family.
  • Continue short reading sessions, gradually making them longer.
  • Pick nursery tales, songs, and stories with simple sentences.
  • Use puppets or stuffed animals to tell the story.
  • Let the child pick the book.
  • Use funny voices to read as different characters.
  • Visit the library often and take your child to children’s activities there.



May begin to recognize the alphabet letters.  Recognizes matching sounds and some printed letters and numbers.  Understands basic words like besideaboveundernear, and far.  Listens and follows directions.  Likes being read to and knows about books.


  • Have regular reading time every day.
  • Visit the library often and take your child to children’s activities there.
  • Choose picture books with lots of vocabulary and detailed illustrations.
  • Sing songs and recite nursery rhymes.
  • Talk about how things work.
  • Let your child help with chores that include sorting, measuring, and  counting (like cooking and laundry).
  • Encourage your child when he or she tries to read.