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Help kids get hooked on books!

It's true what they say: Books really can take kids to wonderful places—and it's never too soon to help that journey begin.

When you read to your child, it can help them learn words, language and more. Introducing your child to books may help your little one develop a lifelong love of reading. And bonding with your kiddo over a book can be deeply rewarding for you too.

Make the most of book time

The following tips can help you make the most of these moments with your child:

Give 'em what they want. Babies and younger toddlers love books with simple stories and lots of pictures. Rhymes can make reading fun. Board books are easier for small hands to grip.

Make it fun. As you read to your child, try using silly voices, making animal sounds or even singing some of the words.

Work on skills. Let your child try to turn the page. Run your finger along the words. Ask questions like, "See the dog?" Doing so helps to build thinking and language skills.

Read for as long as your child wants. Your child may want to read for just a few minutes at a time. That's OK. Every moment you spend with a book adds up.

Choose a comfortable reading area. That might be a couch, a chair or a blanket on the floor.

Make time for books. Reading can be part of a relaxing bedtime routine. But you can share a book with your child most anytime—like before naps and even in the grocery store. (Give your child a board book to play with and look at while you shop.)

In the months ahead

As your child grows, your shared interactions with stories can become a little more complex. For example, your little one might start to point out some of the objects in the book. You'll be able to ask your child questions such as, "What do you think will happen next? Does the boy look happy or sad?" And your child will be able to turn the pages without much help.

Keep reading to your child

You can help make reading an enjoyable experience at every stage of your child's life. If you don't already have one, consider getting a library card. Keep all kinds of books around your house. And let your child see you read often. Your children will want to imitate you.

Source: American Academy of PediatricsZero to Three

Reviewed 10/13/22

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