Reading Lists: Birth to 3

Sharing books, songs and rhymes with your baby every day gives your child what he needs most—time to create a loving bond with you while developing the language skills and building the brain connections necessary for eventual reading success. Even though your baby does not yet understand the words, or focus on the pictures, that’s okay. If you read just a few minutes several times a day and make it fun, he will be looking and listening soon.

Beginning at birth, talk with your baby about what you are doing. "OK, I’m going to put these warm fuzzy socks on your feet because it feels chilly in here." It may seem silly at first, but telling children what you are doing helps them put words with objects and activities.​

If you can, try working music into everyday activities — picking up toys, setting the table or taking a bath. Make up songs that include children's names. “This is the way Sam puts on his coat, puts on his coat, puts on his coat...” Every time you read, talk, sing or rhyme with a child you are providing the early language experiences that lead to reading.

Play helps children develop social-emotional skills, language and problem-solving skills. When children play, they learn skills that help them get ready to read and get ready for school.