Reading is such an essential skill that all children should develop from a very young age. It’s never too early to teach your child to read, and the sooner they start seeing books and engaging with them, the earlier they start to develop their own literacy skills. Your child is unlikely to be able to properly read until they’re in second grade. At this point, they can read words and sentences independently, possibly even reading through entire books. They won’t be the most advanced books, but they’re still books!
Even so, most kids will begin to learn to read when they’re around two. Here, they can recite words, recognize letters on a page, and answer questions related to things that they see in books. Still, it won’t be until they’re in preschool before they start learning the alphabet and can really sound out words.
Throughout this process, you can help your children by giving them books to read – and by reading to them. Naturally, you need to have suitable books for their age range. Today, we’re going to go through the best types of books you should get for your kids depending on how old they are.
So, let’s find out:
What books should you be getting kids when they’re between 0 and 3? Obviously, in the early years, you are buying books to read to them. So, storybooks and nursery rhymes are all great things to read. Even if they don’t understand you in the first few months, the sound of your voice can soothe them and help them sleep.
As they get beyond their first birthday, reading to them becomes more significant. Again, storybooks help them, but you should also start buying picture books. Showing your baby pictures and interactive pop-up books can help them identify things and become more engaged. It’s the very early stages of their development, and it can help them spot things in real life that they’ve seen in books – like food, animals, etc.
By the time they get to around 2 or 3, you’re going to start sending them to nursery or pre-school. As such, you need to buy books that will help them lay the foundations of their reading skills. As mentioned in this article: Letter Recognition: How To Help Your Child Learn The Alphabet, alphabet books are great at this stage. These are the most basic kids’ books you can buy, teaching your children all the letters of the alphabet. As we said, this lays the foundations by getting them to recognize letters and understand the sounds they make. When they start to read words, they can sound them out based on the alphabet.
When your child passes their fourth birthday, they’ll be starting kindergarten. Therefore, it’s time to progress their books to things with a few more words in them. Here, you’re still looking at books that are largely illustrative. Don’t buy your kids any books that are full of writing with no pictures as they simply will not be engaged. They are not going to be able to read this much at this stage, so don’t force them to.
Instead, look for kid’s books that tell stories and have pictures to illustrate the text. Each page should have a couple of lines of text for your child to read, and they can use the pictures to help them figure out what’s going on. In essence, you’re easing your child into the process of reading, slowly but surely. Start with books that have a sentence per page for the younger ages, then build up and up. When they’re 7, they should have a firmer grasp of how to read, be able to string a few sentences together in a row and understand what they mean.
Now, you are getting to the point where your children really start to improve their ability to read. By the time a child is 12, they can read actual novels. We’re talking about things like Harry Potter and many other kids’ fictional books. This is where the illustrations get phased out, replaced by more and more text. When they’re 8 or 9, you might still get books with a few illustrations here and there, only there are paragraphs per page, rather than just a sentence or two.
Again, it follows the idea of gradually exposing your kids to more writing. When they get competent at reading illustrative books, you can get books that are full of writing. Be careful with your choices; start by picking books that have large writing on each page, so there’s technically less to read – and the larger letters are easier for kids to see and understand. Ideally, by the time your child leaves elementary school, they should be moving on to proper books. There should no longer be images on pages, and your child should be able to read through the whole book by themselves.
At this point, things can really vary depending on what your kid enjoys reading. As just mentioned, they should be able to read proper books by now. It is a good idea to get them novels aimed at kids their age, just to be sure they’re reading things that are appropriate for them. As they get older, they’ll try more advanced books that are aimed at a more adult audience.
Ultimately, you need to buy books that are suitable for your kids depending on how old they are and how good their reading skills will be. Some parents want to speed up the learning process by getting books that are above the average reading level. For instance, when a child is 7, they buy books that are completely full of text and long paragraphs. Some kids can read these at this point, but most will be unable to. Let your children progress naturally by gradually being exposed to longer sentences, longer words, and more writing. Start with the picture books, phase out the images, and your child will learn to read at a good pace.
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*This is a collaborative article