Teaching Your Baby to Read from Age 1–2

How to teach your baby to read as it begins to speak

As the child becomes a toddler, he/she will enter a new world of speech, movement, and imagination. In most cases he/she will start speaking first words and learn several new words every week. The more language the baby hears, the more words it will have available to name objects or express feelings. By 18 months, it may start joining these simple words into sentences.

Teaching Reading

If you have decided to purchase and implement one of the reading programs that promise to teach babies to read, you can incorporate these sessions into your daily routine. An example of a complete reading instruction program designed for toddlers is the Discover Reading Toddler Edition , produced by the Hooked on Phonics group.

You may find that your child is able to follow the logic of a particular reading program, or you may find that your baby does not respond. Whichever way it goes, don't express disappointment. Perhaps your child will be ready later or you could try again in a few weeks or months. Perhaps that particular method is not the best one for your child. Either way, you are providing your child with greater exposure to letters sounds, and words, which fosters language development.

Don't forget that even if your child is learning to read, you should still continue to read books to your child. It will be a while before your child can read as easily and fluently as you can!

Daily Reading

At this age, reading to your child should be a regular part of your daily routine. Story-time encourages language development and communication, in a loving, playful context. Toddlers often want to assert their independence so you should let your child choose the book to read, as well as the reading location. In order to interact more effectively with your toddler, make reading a two-sided activity in which both of you participate. You may read the worlds and the child may speak, point, coo, laugh, or thump the page. This is perfectly normal and the child is beginning his relationship with books.

At this age, separation anxiety may make the child will feel wary to be around strangers. It is helpful to read books that deal with these emotions, such as books in which the baby says goodbye to mommy or daddy when they go to work.

Buying Books

Along with whatever books, CDs, and DVDs you pick up from the library, you should consider purchasing a few good children's books, which your child may want you to read over and over. Create a special space for the child to build his own library. Allow her to choose which book to read at reading time. Let her know that reading is a delightful and fun part of daily life, and something she can share with a loving parent or caregiver.

Best Books for One-Year-Olds

When selecting books for your toddler, include ones that have an element of interaction. Books that make sounds or have flaps, fur, mirrors, music, snaps or flaps are all good choices.

In terms of content, at this age you can focus on the basics: the alphabet, numbers, counting, shapes and rhymes. Several classsics by Dr. Seuss meet these requirements: Dr. Seuss's ABC , The Shape of Me and Other Stuff or Ten Apples Up On Top! . The Baby Einstein company also has several books, CDs, and DVDs that can introduce babies to these fundamental concepts in an engaging way.

You can support your child's future reading endeavours by watching and listening to CDs and DVDs together, as much as reading. Remember that the visual and auditory elements are integral parts of the reading process. Whether a child learns the word "dog" by looking at a book or by watching a monitor or television screen makes no difference. The more ways in which the child can discover, name and interact with the world, the better for his language development and future reading success.

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