How to choose books for children 0 - 4 years
Books are a fundamental tool for stimulating children's speech, because they help them become familiar with sounds, the meaning of words and phrases and with the intonation of the voice. To read it also helps them to increase their attention span and concentration: some research has shown a correlation between early exposure to reading, language learning and future academic success. And you can start from a very young age!
The books "The Montessori baby" (The Green Lion, 2022) e "Talk with me" (Mondadori, 2022) explain to us how to choose books suitable for different age groups in the period between 0 and 4 years.
- Books for babies 0-6 months
- Books for babies 6-12 months
- Books for babies 12-18 months
- Books for babies 18-24 months
- Books for children 2-3 years
- Books for children 3-4 years
Books for babies 0-6 months
In the first months of life, the child is interested inemotional aspect of reading. This is why it is important that you start reading books from when he is still in his belly: it is the sound of your voice that attracts and calms him. So any kind of story is fine, even the book you are reading. After birth, the most suitable books are:
Illustrated books small and handy, to facilitate the child who has yet to perfect his grip and the ability to turn the page.
Cardboard or soft fabric books, which he can put in his mouth and touch with his hands. Or tactile and sensory books, made of different materials, sounds and scents, which the child can explore with all 5 senses.
Books with large, high-contrast illustrations. Start with black and white illustrations and then, around 4-6 weeks, move on to colorful images on a white background. Better books that have a single image per page, so that the child can linger and you can name the objects or animals depicted.
Incorporate the moment of reading into your daily routine with your child (at least five minutes a day) and allow them to immediately take your books everywhere (on a trip, on vacation, by car ...).
Books for babies 6-12 monthsRead also: Baby's speech development from 1 month to 3 years
For children aged six months a year, the ideal for reading are:
- Books in thick hardback, so that they are safe if they are put in the mouth and that they are easily peeled.
Books plasticized, that children can take with them when they bathe.
Books with real pictures, if not photographs. Choose books that deal with everyday elements (animals, sounds, scents, the seasons, the five senses, vehicles…). For example, the little ones really like those in which other children like them are represented: up to the age of 6 children understand the world around them thanks to what they have seen and experienced and research shows that they prefer realistic books. For the imagination there will be time later, now is the time for more accurate information and truthful as possible: therefore avoid books that feature animals or toys that behave like humans (for example, a soft toy that drives a car or an elephant on roller skates).
Books for babies 12-18 monthsRead also: How to make children passionate about reading
For children heading towards one and a half years, you can experiment with new ideas:
- Books in which they can scroll images with their finger or with windows that open and close (although it may still accidentally break some). Around the age of one they may begin to show interest in these books. However, keep in mind that, according to research, the windows distract the little one who ends up learning less information. Avoid pop-up books instead, as they will be ripped off in a matter of days.
For children who continue to carry everything in their mouths, it may be a good idea to print pictures from the Internet, laminate them and bind them as if they were a book.
A little more books great, always hardcover, but with increasingly complex and detailed images.
Books that feature isolated words and then short sentences. In fact, at this age children love very much the repetition of single words or rhymes.
Books for babies 18-24 months
Books that contain images of objects divided into categories, as if they were small dictionaries. They serve to work on expanding the child's vocabulary through naming, on understanding new words.
Books with very simple stories and repetitive, in which there is a single character who performs different actions. They are used to encourage the production of small sentences composed of two elements.
At this age, you can also accomplish a small photo album with images in which the child performs different actions (eats, drinks, is in the park, goes on the swing and so on) or in which people known to him do something (grandfather sleeps, mom cooks, dad irones, cat eat etc.).
Books for children 2-3 yearsRead also: How to read books to babies
Books with nursery rhymes and jokes in rhyme. Prefer those based on one sequenzialità, because the little one begins to understand more words and appears interested in their meaning. So take advantage of it to expand and enrich his vocabulary, as well as to narrate.
Books for children 3-4 years
Books with more articulated stories, made up of real sentences.
Books with funny and fictional stories. The kids are now also starting to develop their own sense of humor, so let's go funny books or able to let their imaginations travel.
Books made only of images (i silent book). Just to foster their narrative ability, offer them books without a predefined story, so that he can try to tell one himself.
Books that talk about managing emotions and help the child to deal with new experiences.
The reference books for this article are "The Montessori baby" (The Green Lion, 2022) e "Talk with me" (Mondadori, 2022).
- newborn books
- importance of reading to children from birth
- sensory books