Start reading for kids

Start Reading for Children (3)

Start Reading for Children (3)

Start Reading for Children (III)

  • 1Claire Reads a Book

  • 2A Broken Chair

  • 3Birthday Celebration

  • 4The Pink One is Popular

  • 5The Petting Zoo

  • 6Parental Punishment

  • 7Alexa's Bunny

  • 8Drawing Animals

  • 9Falling Down in the Game

  • 10Arts and Crafts

  • 11Visiting a Candy Factory

  • 12Water Slide

  • 13Luke's New School

  • 14Meeting His Cousins

  • 15Ripped Bag

  • 16Dirty Shoes

  • 17Sharing is Caring

  • 18A Lazy Kid

  • 19Finding a Place to Study

  • 20She Brings Lunch from Home

  • 21The School Bully

  • 22Moving to New York

  • 23Pacing Yourself

  • 24He Was Forced to Go Home

  • 25A Bad Influence

  • 26 - 50

  • 51 - 75

  • 76 - 100

Start Reading for Children (1)

Start Reading for Children (2)

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Reading Milestones (for Parents) - Nemours KidsHealth

Reviewed by: Cynthia M. Zettler-Greeley, PhD

Nemours BrightStart!

en español Hitos en la lectura

This is a general outline of the milestones on the road to reading success. Keep in mind that kids develop at different paces and spend varying amounts of time at each stage. If you have concerns, talk to your child's doctor, teacher, or the reading specialist at school. Getting help early is key for helping kids who struggle to read.

Parents and teachers can find resources for children as early as pre-kindergarten. Quality childcare centers, pre-kindergarten programs, and homes full of language and book reading can build an environment for reading milestones to happen.

Infancy (Up to Age 1)

Kids usually begin to:

  • learn that gestures and sounds communicate meaning
  • respond when spoken to
  • direct their attention to a person or object
  • understand 50 words or more
  • reach for books and turn the pages with help
  • respond to stories and pictures by vocalizing and patting the pictures

Toddlers (Ages 1–3)

Kids usually begin to:

  • answer questions about and identify objects in books — such as "Where's the cow?" or "What does the cow say?"
  • name familiar pictures
  • use pointing to identify named objects
  • pretend to read books
  • finish sentences in books they know well
  • scribble on paper
  • know names of books and identify them by the picture on the cover
  • turn pages of board books
  • have a favorite book and request it to be read often

Early Preschool (Age 3)

Kids usually begin to:

  • explore books independently
  • listen to longer books that are read aloud
  • retell a familiar story
  • sing the alphabet song with prompting and cues
  • make symbols that resemble writing
  • recognize the first letter in their name
  • learn that writing is different from drawing a picture
  • imitate the action of reading a book aloud

Late Preschool (Age 4)

Kids usually begin to:

  • recognize familiar signs and labels, especially on signs and containers
  • recognize words that rhyme
  • name some of the letters of the alphabet (a good goal to strive for is 15–18 uppercase letters)
  • recognize the letters in their names
  • write their names
  • name beginning letters or sounds of words
  • match some letters to their sounds
  • develop awareness of syllables
  • use familiar letters to try writing words
  • understand that print is read from left to right, top to bottom
  • retell stories that have been read to them

Kindergarten (Age 5)

Kids usually begin to:

  • produce words that rhyme
  • match some spoken and written words
  • write some letters, numbers, and words
  • recognize some familiar words in print
  • predict what will happen next in a story
  • identify initial, final, and medial (middle) sounds in short words
  • identify and manipulate increasingly smaller sounds in speech
  • understand concrete definitions of some words
  • read simple words in isolation (the word with definition) and in context (using the word in a sentence)
  • retell the main idea, identify details (who, what, when, where, why, how), and arrange story events in sequence

First and Second Grade (Ages 6–7)

Kids usually begin to:

  • read familiar stories
  • "sound out" or decode unfamiliar words
  • use pictures and context to figure out unfamiliar words
  • use some common punctuation and capitalization in writing
  • self-correct when they make a mistake while reading aloud
  • show comprehension of a story through drawings
  • write by organizing details into a logical sequence with a beginning, middle, and end

Second and Third Grade (Ages 7–8)

Kids usually begin to:

  • read longer books independently
  • read aloud with proper emphasis and expression
  • use context and pictures to help identify unfamiliar words
  • understand the concept of paragraphs and begin to apply it in writing
  • correctly use punctuation
  • correctly spell many words
  • write notes, like phone messages and email
  • understand humor in text
  • use new words, phrases, or figures of speech that they've heard
  • revise their own writing to create and illustrate stories

Fourth Through Eighth Grade (Ages 9–13)

Kids usually begin to:

  • explore and understand different kinds of texts, like biographies, poetry, and fiction
  • understand and explore expository, narrative, and persuasive text
  • read to extract specific information, such as from a science book
  • understand relations between objects
  • identify parts of speech and devices like similes and metaphors
  • correctly identify major elements of stories, like time, place, plot, problem, and resolution
  • read and write on a specific topic for fun, and understand what style is needed
  • analyze texts for meaning

Reviewed by: Cynthia M. Zettler-Greeley, PhD

Date reviewed: May 2022

When to start reading books to your child

So when, when should you start reading books to your child? With all due respect to psychologists, it is hardly worth attacking a newborn baby with a book. That does not negate the need and benefit of communication. Talk to the child so that the child will speak to you as soon as possible, tell poems and fairy tales, sing songs. But let's be honest, how many of them do you remember? Poems and fairy tales?

If you are a storehouse of folk wisdom, then, of course, you can do without a book for now. Otherwise, books will be a great help to you. Fairy tales, poems, fables, stories, counting rhymes, nursery rhymes - there is everything in the books. Children are very receptive to rhyme, poetry will appeal to almost any kid. But you can even read novels to him, children not only like to hear the voice of loved ones, loving people, they need it. nine0005

Intending to make a child friends with a book seriously, you should take into account both the general stages of development of children and the individual characteristics of your baby. To help you figure out at what age to start reading books, we offer a small cheat sheet by age.

Age 3 - 6 months

The baby begins to crawl, study objects, babble. Read to him or tell him, that is the question? Tell me! At this stage, the best book for him is you. Tell what you remember by heart, fairy tales familiar from childhood, favorite poems. Learn new ones: nursery rhymes, songs, boring tales (a hit for all time is a fairy tale about a white bull, but there are actually a lot of them). nine0005

Children love repetition (you will have time to make sure of this). And, for the future, if the baby asks, do not refuse to read the tale of the chicken Ryaba for the five hundredth time, do not be angry with him. Repetitions help children learn not only new words, but also speech turns, phrase construction.

You can read a book before going to bed, and during the day tell: while you are going for a walk, play with your little one, dress or bathe him. He will respond, answer you (even if for now only boo-boo and ha-ha), and you address him by name. It is a good idea to insert the name of your baby, on occasion, into rhymes (for example, the gate creaks and creaks, and our Petya / Olya sleeps and sleeps). nine0005

As for the interaction with the book, then, let's be honest: at this age, children most of all like to nibble on them. Therefore, it is better to buy a rattle or a teether for a baby, but for yourself - a good collection of baby rhymes, it will come in handy for you.

Age 6 – 9 months

The kid takes the first steps, plays with other children, actively interacts with objects, repeats syllables and simple words after adults. It's time to introduce him to the book! But we must understand that at first the book will be more of a toy. There is no need to be afraid of this, it is useful and correct. nine0005

You will still have time to introduce your child to the masterpieces of world literature, and now you are starting to teach him to use a book as you teach him to use a spoon or other everyday item. While playing, children learn the simplest actions - turn pages, understand where to look, where the beginning and where the end of the book is.

Many excellent children's books are now being published:
  • ⚫ soft sensory books,
  • ⚫ bathing books,
  • ⚫ transformers with moving valves,
  • ⚫ folding pictures.

Looking at illustrations, repeating words after you, touching textured inserts, your baby develops fine motor skills, coordination, sensory abilities and communication skills. And, of course, learns to love the book, because it brings so much joy!

Age 9 – 12 months

This age can be described in two words - all by yourself! The kid tries to walk without support, sit, eat on his own, pronounce the first words, initiate communication with his parents, listen with pleasure as his mother (or father) reads to him, examines the pictures. It is with looking at the pictures that the meaningful interaction of the child with the book begins. The book is not just an object, but a source of information about the real world and the world of imagination, and he learns to discover these worlds for himself. nine0005

Sit with your baby in an embrace so that it is convenient for you to hold and read a book, and for him to watch. Pictures are better to choose bright, but as simple as possible, with the image of one or two characters or objects. Colorfully designed fairy tales, illustrated dictionaries of the first words will do. Parents will also have to try: memorized rhymes are no longer enough, it's time to improvise. Choose a book with illustrations, according to which you yourself can tell a story, for a start it’s quite simple - who is shown in the picture? What are you wearing? What is he doing? What does he say? nine0005

Be ready to read expressively, in faces, depicting characters, croak and meow, squeak and growl - this will help the baby to distinguish and better remember the characters, and, of course, he will like it! Try it, you will like it too. Sometimes it is also useful for serious, adult people to fool around. But, of course, for reading before bed, it is better to choose something rhythmic, read or hum in a calm manner.

Age from one to two

By the age of one and a half, a kid usually already utters short phrases, dances, sings along, begins to draw (goodbye, wallpaper!), Recognizes images in pictures, understands a short story or a fairy tale. Pictures are still very important, they help very young children build a plot sequence for themselves, but this is the beginning of real, real reading. Sit your child on your lap (so it will be easier for him to concentrate), and start reading! nine0005

When rereading your favorite fairy tale, pause so that the baby can finish the phrase, insert a familiar word, but if it doesn’t work out yet, it doesn’t matter - tell me, offer to repeat after you. The same with pictures. Ask who is pictured, what they are doing, or ask them to show you where a certain character is drawn.

This is an important stage of development, your little listener slowly becomes an interlocutor. But, if it is difficult for him to sit still, do not force him. At this age, children have a lot to do: they learn new movements, learn to jump, like to sculpt, assemble a designer (by the way, the development of fine motor skills is directly related to the development of speech). nine0005

From the age of one, children begin to form their own taste. Perhaps your child just doesn't like a certain book. In this case, give him the opportunity to choose for himself (for this, a shelf with children's books should be in a place accessible to the child).

Two to three years of age

The child independently performs the main actions, actively communicates with adults, with other children, he develops self-esteem (most often he evaluates himself as “good” - and you can’t argue!), He not only listens with pleasure to poems, fairy tales, stories, but already and tells himself. nine0005

Teremok, Gingerbread Man, Chicken Ryaba - a great choice for this age. You can also start reading children's encyclopedias, stories about animals, long poems. Showing the baby pictures, ask them to tell what is drawn there, this contributes to the development of speech and imagination. Discuss the heroes of the fairy tale, their actions (for example, where did the Bear go, is he good or bad). And, if you are not reading a fairy tale for the first time, offer to continue it from some point to train memory and attention. nine0005

But these are all pretty general guidelines. We hope that they will be useful, but you should not take them as an unconditional guide to action. You need to focus solely on the abilities and needs of your child. It happens that even at three months, a baby listens to fairy tales with bated breath, but if your one-year-old is still trying to nibble on a book and likes to play patties more, do not force him to sit and listen. Everything has its turn. There is no need to turn reading together into a heavy duty, either for yourself or for the child. Your little one has a long road of knowledge ahead, let him walk it with joy. Even the stern samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo, in his treatise Hidden in the Leaves, strongly recommended not to punish children under four years old - so that the baby, not knowing fear, would grow up inquisitive and courageous. nine0005

Where to start reading?

Little white fish.

Age recommendation 1+.

A series of books by Belgian author Guido Van Genechten about the adventures of a small white fish and its friends: red crab, blue whale, green turtle and many others. The illustrations are bright, colorful characters are easier to recognize and remember. The paper is thick enough not to tear or wrinkle, so the books are suitable for younger children as well. Simple but captivating stories are sure to please both your baby and you. nine0005

Bunny Styopa and a pot.

Age recommendation 2+.

An excellent series of educational help books from Andrian Hayman. The illustrations are large and colorful, the book is in a convenient format, on thick cardboard. The text will help to explain to the child in a fun and intelligible way how to dress, use the potty, go to the doctor. The books in the series will also be useful for older children, and kids who are still too early to potty will surely love pictures with the cutest bunny Styopa. nine0005

Crocodile, I have to go - I'm leaving in the morning!

Age recommendation 3+.

A funny book in verse by Sally Hopgood about a sluggish baby turtle who decides to leave the zoo, but first to say goodbye to all his friends. Wonderful illustrations that will introduce your baby to animals: there is a crocodile, and an antelope, and a snail, and a cat. The lyrics are simple, funny and easy to memorize. The cover is soft, the paper is coated. The book will be interesting even for the smallest, but, unfortunately, the pages are easy to tear. nine0005

Reading to children from 0 to 3

Let's talk about how to read with babies from birth to three years old: how to instill in children a love of reading, teach them to listen to poems and fairy tales, look at illustrations, and how to choose books for the youngest category of readers.
But first, a few words about why you need to read to children, who for the most part have not yet really learned to speak. Reading children's books is a whole complex of activities. It consists of viewing illustrations, listening to text, matching text and pictures. Reading with a child is a serious job of developing the ability to listen, look at and notice details, read symbols and guess the meaning. By reading to a young child, we contribute to the development of his intellect, broaden his horizons, answer his questions, enrich his emerging speech. In addition, reading is a pleasant form of leisure, a way to distract an upset or naughty baby, one of the elements of the ritual of preparing for sleep, and it is also a whole world of fairy tales, without which it is difficult to imagine a happy childhood. nine0005

From birth to 6 months
Actually, the process of reading with children begins long before reading itself. In order for the baby to show interest in books, it is important that he masters two skills - the ability to listen and the ability to look at pictures.
It is known that the child's hearing develops in the womb and even before birth, the baby is able to hear and perceive the voices of parents, music, sounds of nature. And this is the valuable sensory baggage that you can give your baby even before he is born. During pregnancy, try to surround yourself and your baby with only pleasant sounds, arrange relaxation sessions more often, listen to good music, talk to your baby and tell him stories. And the meaning of fairy tales is absolutely not important here, your intonation, rhythm and pace of a work of art are much more important. When the baby is born, those poems and fairy tales performed by you, which he heard before he was born, will have a calming effect on him, and parents will always find something to tell the baby to console him or entertain him. nine0076 As the baby grows up, the parental repertoire will gradually expand - to the fairy tales or poems already familiar to the child, nursery rhymes, jokes, lullabies and songs will be added. The book as it is is not yet needed here, but the verses of Barto, Chukovsky and Marshak memorized by heart will come in handy, as well as funny rhymes about the clubfoot bear and others that our mothers and grandmothers told us.
Your newborn baby grows and develops, and at the same time, his vision develops. Such an important organ in the knowledge of the world. When, by about three or four weeks, the baby learns to concentrate his eyes for a few seconds and thoroughly examines the faces of dad and mom - and these are the most important objects to look at at this age, you can offer him other objects that the baby will be happy to look at. These can be black and white pictures depicting lines, patterns or geometric shapes, as well as fairly large toys painted in one bright color. Such objects are able to hold the attention of newborn babies for a long time, and the ability to concentrate the gaze develops vision and enhances brain activity. nine0076 Already later, by three or four months, you will offer the child pictures that are more complex in color and shape - these can be drawings or photographs depicting people, animals, vehicles. Plus, you will show the child the world around - an apartment, a street. It is very important at the same time to pronounce the names of the objects that the baby sees.
So, from the age of birth to six months, "reading" is a synthesis of two actions - looking at pictures and objects, as well as listening to works of art in the background. nine0005

6 months to 1 year
Perhaps your baby is already sitting, but even if not, then he probably already lies on his tummy for a long time or half-sitting in your arms. And for sure, he is showing more and more interest in everything that surrounds him.
It's time to get your first children's book. We are talking about cardboard baby books, which consist of a small number of dense, durable and safe pages. In fact, the pages are everything. Children like to manipulate the book by turning the pages - this, in addition to everything, is also a great exercise for developing fine motor skills. Most likely, the book will be tried on the tooth, but it will be reviewed one way or another. Do not buy a lot of baby books, two or three will be enough. Pretty soon you will see that the baby is ready to move on and then you can choose more meaningful books for reading together. The choice of the first book is a responsible matter. nine0005

Here are some rules to help you:

  • The book must have thick cardboard pages, the binding must be of high quality. It is important to be sure that when the child picks up the book, it will remain intact.
  • Simplicity of illustrations. Ideally, when one image is placed on one page, if this is a plot, then it should be as simple as possible. It is still difficult for a child at this age to perceive a large number of details, he also does not understand the complex actions of the characters. The simpler the image, the more recognizable it will be to the child - accordingly, the interest in the book will be higher. nine0034
  • Moderate colors. Ideally, if the book contains only four primary colors - red, yellow, green, blue (not counting black and white). The diversity of the image, again, will not be useful, but will only tire the child.
  • Realistic pictures. The crocodile should be green and the tomato should be red. This is one of the most important points. A child at this age absorbs information in a colossal volume, and the inconsistency in its content is now absolutely useless. The same applies to the appearance of animals. Often artists like to depict animals in clothes, but this is absolutely contrary to the real idea of ​​a cat or dog, for example. In the future, in more adult books, when the child will already be oriented in the world of objects and will understand what is reality and what is a fairy tale, then the cat can be in a dress, and in a hat, and with beads (if this corresponds to the plot). At the initial stage of understanding the world, a cat should look like a cat - four paws, a mustache, ears and a tail. nine0034

So, the ideal book for babies from six months old is a small cardboard format, in which each page shows a picture, the words in such a book are optional. You will simply tell the child about what is shown in the picture - this will be the first fairy tale.
When you choose a book for your six-month-old baby, you need to find a moment when the child will be in a good mood, put him in your arms or lie down next to him and turn the pages of the book, sometimes saying what is depicted on them. Such “reading” will become the baby’s favorite pastime for a long time, he will especially like it when the baby learns to turn the pages on his own. nine0076
From one to two years

Among children and parents who love books, there is even a list of books that are ideal for kids of this age. We can say that these are win-win options:

  1. V. Bianchi "The Fox and the Mouse" - an excellent edition illustrated by Yu. Vasnetsov;
  2. E. Karl "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" - world bestseller;
  3. E. Carl "From Head to Feet" - also a favorite book of kids all over the world; nine0034
  4. Russian folk tales and nursery rhymes illustrated by Y. Vasnetsov;
  5. Children's books by Japanese writer Yusuke Yonezu.

Usually these books instantly become favorites among kids and are read to holes. They are valuable, first of all, for their illustrations, their small texts are simple and uncomplicated. These books are just perfect for learning to relate pictures to text - an important skill that will come in handy for a child in the future. nine0076 The kid grows up and his interest in reading continues to grow - at some point you will understand that the reading list should be expanded and collections of poems by K. Chukovsky, S. Marshak, A. Barto, B. Zakhoder, as well as fairy tales V Suteeva.
Encourage any child's interest in books. It happens that in the entire collection of poems the baby is attracted only by one quatrain or one picture, read and examine them again and again. Only your sincere interest, your interest and patience (sometimes you have to read the same verse thirty times a day) can support the love of reading in a baby. nine0076 Also an important point of this period is looking at plot pictures, and it will remain so for a long time, becoming more complicated and changing depending on the age and interests of the child. For one or two one-year-old children, the pictures for looking at should be quite simple and clear, selected by subject - transport, animals, vegetables, fruits. Books like encyclopedias for the smallest respond well to this request.

The child will periodically leaf through these books, linger on the objects he likes, poke his finger or otherwise attract your attention, wanting to know the name of the object. When the baby starts talking, you will ask him what he sees in the pictures, and this will become one of the most beloved joint games. nine0076 Looking at pictures, we not only name objects, we also describe their properties, actions, and come up with plots. Thus, we develop the child's imagination, form his vocabulary, enrich his speech, help him learn to look at the same objects differently.
Now quite popular and loved by many children are books for viewing by Suzanne Berner, Doro Goebel and other authors - these books are a real treasure for showing parental improvisation in describing the plots of illustrations. nine0005

Books with windows, with moving and tactile elements are a good help in attracting a child to look at pictures. Such publications are able to keep the attention of the child for a long time, increase his interest in the content of the book.

Reading for children aged one to two is the world of illustration. Everything that is written about should be drawn - this is very important for the baby, because he himself cannot yet imagine a bull that walks on a swinging board, but he is happy to discover objects that he has just heard about on the pages of the book. nine0005

Two to three
If you started “reading” to a child literally from birth, then most likely at this age you will already be well versed in children's literature, and the reading list for children of two or three years is so wide and varied that it is difficult to cover it in one article. But if you are just starting to read with your baby and it seems to you that he does not show much interest in books, then you can resort to little tricks.

  • Choose books for your child based on their interests. For example, if your kid is interested in animals, then perhaps he will be interested in the poems of S. Marshak or B. Zakhoder;
  • Always carry a book in your bag. If you have to take the child on a trip, queues, etc., then you can offer him to read;
  • Act out home plays based on famous fairy tales. It is very easy even at home to show the performances "Teremok", "Kolobok" or "Turnip", so you will introduce the child to works of art. After that, invite the baby to read together about the heroes he loves; nine0034
  • Leave books in the public domain;
  • Read aloud! Even if the child is playing or doing something, and you sit next to him and start reading a book, sooner or later the baby will show interest and join you.

The age of two years is also that amazing period when a child begins to develop a fantasy. Children show interest in creativity, in role-playing and fantasy games - all this is an immersion in the world of a fairy tale. Play fairy tales with children, act out stories from books, put on home performances, draw your own illustrations for books, sculpt characters from plasticine.

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