Like toys, books must be present in the child’s life from an early age; At first it will be one more object but as it grows and with your help, they will help it discover and understand the world around it.
In general, publishers divide books by age and indicate it on the covers, but this should be taken as a suggestion rather than a rule, because between children of the same age there may be differences related to taste, personality and environment, Inter alia.
When choosing a children’s book you should take into account their particular interests and abilities. Think about what she likes and what she is living in: Are you learning colors or how to count? Do you like animals? Do you have a new baby brother?
On the other hand, and like adults, children need a varied reading menu, which combines real and fantastic stories, with accurate information or that invites their imagination to run wild.
As he grows older and learns to read, I recommend that you offer him simple books that reinforce his confidence in his ability to read and interpret stories, but also others that are challenging for him, whether due to their language, length or complexity.
Here I give you an age guide that can be useful when choosing, but remember to think about their tastes, interests and abilities:
8 months to 2 years
The book should become a familiar object for the baby, so that she gradually develops her love for reading. At this stage it seeks:
- Non-toxic books made of cardboard, plastic, cloth, hard-bound and blunt-ended that can be easily chewed, sucked, and handled.
- Picture books that show everyday objects and characters, such as toys, animals, or food.
- Stories with bright, vibrantly colored illustrations, with short stories and a simple plot.
- Books with textures, windows, flaps or that emit sounds that can attract your attention.
Read aloud and point to the illustrations at the same time to get their attention and learn to identify the characters in the story.
2 to 6 years
At this age, children begin to understand the world around them, so it is good to introduce the first information books. Illustrations are very important because visual reaction often precedes verbal understanding. At this stage it seeks:
- Knowledge books about colors, animals, vehicles, numbers, etc.
- Illustrated stories with slightly longer stories but with a simple plot, easy to understand.
- Picture books without words that invite the child to tell their own story.
- Picture songs, books with rhymes or word games.
- Die-cut books that offer the possibility of interaction.
Children often ask that the same book be read to them more than once, and some even memorize their favorite stories.
6 to 9 years
In this period, learning to read begins and books must be adapted to the child’s ability. Look for books that you find interesting and that help build your confidence as a reader:
- Wonderful tales of fairies and extraordinary characters, fables, stories with children as protagonists. Narratives in which there is a lot of action.
- Activity books: cooking, crafts, experiments.
- Books of riddles, riddles and tongue twisters
- Knowledge books with photographs or drawings and short texts.
- Short chapter novels and short story collections, illustrated comics.
Through stories, whether they are fantastic or everyday scenes, the child sees their own reality reflected and discovers the world around them.
10 to 12 years
Now that your child can read, it is convenient to have a varied list of genres, with real and fantastic stories, as well as information books.
- Fantastic novels of adventures in imaginary kingdoms, travel, detective, horror …
- Knowledge books about animals, sports, space, characters or historical stages.
- Realistic novels that portray close experiences or portray experiences from other cultures.
- Narrations with abundant dialogues and with a touch of humor.
- Good quality series that can reinforce the reading experience in each new installment.
How to stimulate reading
Reading is a wonderful activity because it enhances the imagination, helps the child to learn, to have fun alone, and also enhances their ability to concentrate and understand. Hence the importance of instilling and fostering a taste for books in your child from a young age.
However, it is very important that reading is not imposed because then it will cause the opposite effect: that you see it as an obligation instead of fun.
Here are some tips to make your child fall in love with books:
- Establish a daily routine, for example, read in the late afternoon or before bed.
- Let him choose the book you are going to read to him.
- Look for interactive digital books that allow you to build your own stories.
- Encourage him to write and illustrate his own stories, or to make up a second part of that story that he liked so much.
- Be interested in their reading: share opinions about the characters and the stories
- Find out what genres or stories you like the most and search for titles together.
- The example is the best way to promote the reading of the youngest, parents and grandparents readers are role models.