How do you choose the right books for different ages?
Firstly, follow your child’s lead! Most little children will happily choose books for you to share with them if given the opportunity. If they choose something like a magazine or coffee table book, talk about the pictures together and make up your own stories. You can do the same thing with picture books that have a lot of text. Choose one or two pages to share together or invite your little one to turn the pages. Ask questions or make comments about each page so you can talk about what’s happening.
- Choose books that have big, easily seen pictures on each page rather than intricate illustrations that may be difficult to focus on.
- Look for stories that have other babies and children that your little one can relate to.
- Books that have actions you can do together are also great to encourage participation.
- Toddlers love to feel like they are reading with you. Choose books with predictable storylines or repeated phrases that your toddler can join in with.
- Lift the flap books or books that have characters that make sounds and noises are always exciting. Your toddler will love being in charge of lifting the flap as you turn to a new page.
For 3-5 year olds
- By this age little ones are keen to be involved in sharing stories and know a lot about how books and stories work.
- Choose picture books about things that interest your child. You can include Junior Non-Fiction books as well as this adds to their understanding about particular topics.
- Books that have interesting and complex words are great to explore with this age group. Explain unknown words by connecting it to something your child already knows. For example, the tiger is trying to camouflage himself by hiding in the stripy leaves so the other animals can’t see him, just like that stick insect we saw blended into the tree bark the other day at the park.
Your local library has many books for different ages. Visit one today and borrow a range of books to see which ones your child loves to share with you.