benefits of reading to children
Children's Books, Education

13 Benefits of Reading to Children and Toddlers: Age-by-age Guide to Reading to Your Baby

Sharing is caring!

Children who are read to from an early age do better when they get to school. Learning rhymes and stories together will give them a flying start in life! These are the major benefits of reading to children, but there are certainly more that we will disclose in this article.

If you’d like to know how reading affects your baby, when to start reading with kids, and how to read to toddlers, check this guideline.

Now let’s find out:

  • what is the difference in stages,
  • what books are the most suitable for your child at what age, and
  • best stories for kids.

Note: this is just a guidance to provide you an idea where your child may be and what he needs at a certain stage. However, it is important to note that every child is different and the interest in books, interaction, or development of skill sets may vary.

[convertkit form=5359227]

The Importance of Reading: Why is Reading Important for Child Development?

It is crucial you follow the development and wishes of your own child. For example, while everyone was reading very short stories for kids, toddler books, and books for babies up to 14 months of age, my child was showing zero interest in books. All of a sudden, at the age of 15 months, he found it interesting to look through easy reading books for toddlers with animals and daily routines. 20 to 26 months were the era of rhymetime and songs. Right after he started to recite all the board books for toddlers, we have been reading with him throughout the whole time which absolutely blew me away, however, it should be noted that our son is trilingual. So, every situation has to be taken individual care and approach.

Read about how to teach your child three languages naturally.

If you search for song rhymes for your baby, here is an amazing selection prepared for you.

Benefits of Reading for Kids: Age-by-age Guide to Reading to Your Baby

Birth to six months (0-6)

This is the stage when your baby has just started his journey. The most important is to stay relaxed, hold her close, talk, sing, and read. During this stage, you can read aloud books, magazines, and stories that you enjoy but that has a positive impact on both of your wellbeing.

Also, it is important to mention that at this early stage, the best option to read with a newborn is to show her black and white baby books.

Check the post on the benefits of black and white books for newborns providing visual stimulation for babies.

High-contrasting, black and white images with sharp outlines are much easier for baby to see in the first few months of life while eyesight is still developing. At birth, a baby’s retina is not fully developed, so a newborn retina can only detect extreme contrasts between light and dark, or black and white. This is why practitioners suggest using black and white images (you can draw pictures yourself) as opposed to colored pictures.

Want some black and white images for newborns? Sign up for your Free Printables here.

[convertkit form=5359163]

Choose books with little or no text and high-contrast pictures. Consider additional interactive accessories, such as mirrors or puppets.

Reading for infants at this stage is more about hearing the tone of your voice and receiving lots of cuddles.

Six months to twelve months (6-12)

Up to one year of age, your baby may start producing some noises, including animal sounds, and even pronouncing the most common words that he hears in daily life, such as “mommy”, “daddy”, “milk”, etc.

In this case, best baby books suitable for this age are the ones with one object, person, or action. Your baby will learn new words, enhance his vocabulary, and repeat the actions that are in the book.

Tip: because babies this age tend to be hard on their playthings, stick mostly to board books, which can take rough handling and even chewing. Cloth or vinyl books are good too, though turning the pages can be trickier for a baby.

Twelve months to eighteen months (12-18)

Now you can begin to introduce a story book with a sentence to five per page. At this stage, your toddler won’t be able to patiently sit on a lap and listen to the whole story if it is long, this is why reading to a toddler aloud with lots of sounds and funny gestures are extremely helpful. This is more time for fun and pretend. The sillier you are while acting out the story, the better. For instance, if you’re reading about animals, make animal noises. Your baby will think it’s really funny. Sooner or later, he will “moo” or “baa” back to you and you’ll be ready to fall off the couch laughing.

It is a good idea to start asking questions to your baby, such as

  • What does the cow say?
  • Where is the chicken?
  • Do you see the cat?
  • Where is your nose?

Later when your child is able to respond in one word, ask what this object or person is. If you get an answer, expand his vocabulary by adding some features to this object, for example,

- “What is this?”
- “Elephant!”
- “Yes, it is a big blue elephant. He has big ears and a long trunk.”

Eighteen months to twenty-four months (18-24)

The benefits of reading to toddlers are huge. Many toddlers find the familiar routine of reading reassuring and calming. The same goes for familiar books. This helps explain why, starting at about 18 months, children may ask for the same book repeatedly. Experts think it helps children make sense of and then remember new words.

Twenty-four months to thirty-six months (24-36)

Ok, now the show begins. This is where you can enjoy reading, acting, pretending, creating stories with the characters, and even searching for similar characters in the other book.

You will spend a lot of time reading to your child and have great laughs. This is also the best way to avoid any screen-time.

The Benefits of Reading to Babies

  1. Bonding and building a loving relationship
  2. It gets a response
  3. It introduces emotions
  4. It shows it can be a lot of fun!

The Benefits of Reading to Toddlers

  1. Bonding and building a loving relationship
  2. Your child memorizes all the rhymes
  3. Your child recites the books
  4. It helps him to create stories
  5. It increases his imagination
  6. It helps your routine
  7. Preparations for him to read on his own
  8. It boosts brainpower
  9. It develops language skills

What books should I read to my baby?

Choosing books for your baby is a very pleasant and interesting task. As a trilingual family, we have prepared for you an amazing selection of books in three different languages.

Choose your language and click on the link below to find out how to order your books now.

Check our little project “ReadTogether” on IGTv and participate in the contest with us, or follow our stories on Facebook.

View this post on Instagram

This is our new and quite unique project for us that we would like to share with everyone else during the lockdown. We hope we can get support and develop something beautiful together reaching out to families with kids. . . Being a trilingual family stocked with a huge variety of books, we decided to share with you some stories we love the most in English, Russian, and Spanish languages. The reason is that 65% of our time during the lockdown we spend reading, so we thought it would be interesting and fun for you too. . . We welcome every family to have fun with us. Simply follow the steps below: 1. Record your favorite storybook in the language you prefer. 2. Add #parenthood4ever to your post when publish. 3. Like & Save this post. . . Check our NEW post about all the benefits you get from reading, how it affects your child, age-by-age from birth to three years of age, and priceless tips on when? how? why? + list of incredible book selection for your family [Link in Bio!] . . #Readtoyourkids #readtogether #читаемвместе #детскиекниги #читайснами #читайтекниги #savewithstories #kidsreading #readingwithkids #readtokids #readkidsbooks #kidsread #lockdownreading #lockdownwithkids #lockdownwithatoddler #stayathome #parenting #russianmumsinuk #expatfamily #russiansinuk #lifeafterlockdown #карантинcпользой #карантинсдетьми #карантинскнигой #cuarantenaconhijos #cuarantena #librosinfantiles #librosenespañol #leerconnniños #parenthood4ever

A post shared by Parenting |Traveling with kids (@parenthood4ever_) on

Did we convince you reading with your child yet? If yes, then support our project and send us your video reading best baby books for all the children in the world.

[convertkit form=5359036]

ENJOY READING WITH KIDS!

If you liked our article, please Pin it for later and share with the world:

To get more support from parents and family travelers, join our Parenting Support Group.

And follow us on Instagram to know our crazy expat life!

IMPORTANT: We created the Family Store, especially for you. By clicking on the image below you can find anything from Newborn’s First Kit, Baby & Family Essentials, Kids Travel to Travel Gear. We hope you will find something valuable for your own adventures!

Our shop contains products from other companies that we love and use! Everything is based on our values of quality over quantity.

Also, check out:

Welcome to check out our best product selection for parents and babies, including traveling gear and resources here.
This post may contain affiliate links that we may or may not receive a small commission for, at no extra cost to you. This helps to fund our blog but we never advertise for anything we don’t personally love or recommend. There is never any pressure to buy anything, we just like sharing things that make our life easier and help you find them if it is something you are looking for. Please, see our full disclosure here.

Sharing is caring!

You may also like...

Popular Articles...

2 Comments

  1. […] 13 Benefits of Reading to Children and Toddlers […]

  2. […] explorers’ curiosity. Allow them to ask a gazillion questions (oh, that dreaded “But why?”), stimulate them to read ( here is a list of 11 Fantastic sites for kids who love reading) and inspire them to […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *