• Make reading part of every day, even for just a few minutes.
  • Have fun.
  • Talk about the pictures. You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
  • Run your finger along the words as you read them.
  • Silly sounds, especially animal sounds, are fun to make.
  • Choose books about events in your child's life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
  • Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters.
  • Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this?
  • Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let your child retell the story.
  • Visit your local library often.


  • Hold your baby on your lap while you read.
  • Babies like…
    • board books;
    • pictures of babies;
    • rhymes and songs from the same book over and over;
    • and when you point at pictures - this is how babies learn!


  • Let your toddler move around while you are reading.
  • Name the pictures - this is how toddlers learn new words.
  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.
  • Toddlers like …
    • the same book over and over;
    • a book at bedtime;
    • to choose and hold the book;
    • books about food, trucks, animals, and children;
    • and books with a few words.


  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.
  • Keep different books around the house and let your child choose.
  • Two-year-olds like ...
    • to help turn the pages;
    • to fill in the words in a story they know;
    • to point and name pictures;
    • to hear the same book over and over;
    • books that are silly;
    • and animal books and animal noises.


  • Have your child sit close or on your lap while reading.
  • Ask questions about the story.
  • Let your child tell you stories.
  • Make weekly visits to the children's room at the library so your child can choose more books.
  • Children like ...
    • longer books that tell stories;
    • books without words;
    • alphabet and counting books;
    • books about families, friends, and going to school;
    • and a book at bedtime.

Here are some helpful videos for parents to guide them in reading aloud with their children:

Jean Ciborowski Fahey, PhD on Raising Readers
Video from Get Ready to Read!

Reading Together 3
Reading Together 6
Videos from the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment

Three Core Concepts in Early Development: Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry
Video from Harvard University's Center on the Developing Child

Dr. Patricia Kuhl and Dr. Andrew Meltzoff on Brain Power: Why Early Learning Matters
Video from the 2011 NBC News Education Nation Summit