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Reading to your Baby is easy, here are some helpful tips!
  • Hold your baby comfortably on your lap with a book. Your baby will enjoy the closeness to you.
  • Help your baby to explore the book. Your baby will lift, grab, turn, chew, open and close the book.
  • Point out different pictures in books. Babies like colorful pictures best.
  • Keep books where your baby can reach them. Babies love to explore by themselves.
  • Talk, sing, rhyme and repeat words with your baby. Babies quickly become familiar with words you use.
  • Make a fuss when your baby coos, gurgles and 'talks'. Babies communicate with you.
  • Develop a daily reading routine. Babies quickly learn that before nap comes reading time with mommy or daddy.
  • Visit the library often. You and your baby can enjoy a storytime program and get baby‑friendly books to share.
Hexagon PurpleHear Sounds

Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Enjoying nursery rhymes with your baby.
  • Singing to your baby.

Activity for You and Your Baby

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, Baker's man. (Clap hands rhythmically)
Bake me a cake, as fast as you can.
Roll it, and pat it, (Roll and clap hands)
And mark it with a "B". (Trace "B" on palm)
And put it in the oven, (Extend both hands)
For Baby and me! (Point to baby and self)

Books to Share with Your Baby

Hexagon BlueABC's & More

Letter Knowledge

Letter Knowledge is the awareness that the same letter can look different and that letters have names and are related to sounds. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Pointing out letters and shapes in toys and anything around the house.
  • Playing with balls or blocks, toys with different shapes.

Activity for You and Your Baby

Sing the Alphabet Song
W-X-Y & Z
Now I know my ABC's,
Next time won't you sing with me?

Books to Share with Your Baby

Hexagon GreenSee Words Everywhere

Print Awareness

Print Awareness is knowing that print has meaning. It includes the awareness of print in the everyday environment and the ability to understand how printed language works. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Giving your child board or cloth books to play with.
  • Reading your child's favorite book out loud. Point to the words as you read, moving your finger underneath the text.
  • Talking about signs you see like the STOP sign.

Activity for You and Your Baby

As you feed your baby, read the labels on food boxes or jars. Point to the words and the pictures. “This says, ‘Cheerios’, and here they are.”

Books to Share with Your Baby

Hexagon YellowLove Books

Print Motivation

Print Motivation is the interest in and enjoyment of books and reading. Researchers have found that children who enjoy books are more likely to stick with learning to read. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Visiting the library with your child and attending Reading Ready storytimes.
  • Allowing your baby to turn the pages or even hold the book. He may not let you finish reading a page, but that's okay. Just tell the story that you remember, or make up a new story.
  • Encouraging your friends and family to give your child books as a gift. Have them write a special message to your child and sign their names. You can help your child read the message when he gets older.
  • Sharing books that have pop up sections or sounds/textures that the baby can hear, see or feel.

Activity for You and Your Baby

Pack some books in the diaper bag to have on hand anytime and anywhere! Read a book about doctors before an appointment. Tie a cloth book onto the grocery cart. Use waterproof books for the pool, beach or tub.

Books to Share with Your Baby

Hexagon OrangeKnow Words


Vocabulary is knowing the names of things, concepts, feelings and ideas. Having a large vocabulary helps children to recognize words and understand what is being said or read. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Listening when your child coos and babbles, answer him back.
  • Naming objects in your child's world such as trucks, ball, dog, cat.
  • Pointing to pictures in books and say what they are.

Activity for You and Your Baby

Use the verse for "Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum" to point out your child's fingers:

Fee, fie, foe, fum, (point to each finger starting with the pinkie)
See my finger, (point to index finger)
See my thumb. (point to thumb)
Fee, fie, foe, fum, (point to fingers again)
Finger's gone, (hide fingers in hand)
So is thumb. (hide thumb)

Books to Share with Your Baby

Hexagon RedTell Stories

Narrative Skills

Narrative Skills is the expressive part of language. Narrative skills refer to the ability to describe things and events and to tell and retell stories. These skills help to develop a child’s comprehension. Help your baby develop this skill by:

  • Talking with your baby about what you are doing throughout the day.
  • Showing interest when your child babbles and respond to him.
  • When reading action words, making the story come alive by pretending to act and sound like the character. Tell the story of "The Three Little Pigs."

Activity for You and Your Baby

As you are talking to your baby, add some details. For example, “Here is your bib.” You can add, “It has a blue heart with the words ‘I love grandma.’ It will keep food from getting on your clothes.”

Books to Share with Your Baby