Building a Book Collection for Your Child

As you know, there is huge variety of good books published each year for our young children.  Here are some thoughts to help you choose the appropriate books for your loved one:

Are they age appropriate?

Are they fun, interesting and relevant to my child’s interests and life?

Do they have visual appeal with interesting illustrations?

Are they made of an appropriate material for my age child?

Is the language simple, yet interesting and novel?

Is there a sense of beginning, middle and end to the story?

Does it allow for some interactive participation?

When choosing books for your child, here are some age appropriate guidelines…

Infants – soft, cloth books or board books are best

–      snuggle together and point out pictures by naming things your infant sees

–      read books which have a “rhythmic” quality to the language

–      real photos of babies faces and objects are best

–      include books with rich language sounds

–      repeat the books your child loves over and over again

Toddlers – don’t be too formal about reading to toddlers

–      model for them that you enjoy reading too

–      use books as part of a toddlers routine (nap or after lunch)

–      let the child choose the book, if possible

–      rhyming and interactive books are great

–      books about animals or topics that are relevant to them are best

Preschool – choose books that are of interest to your child

–      include books about sounds, letters and their routines

–      find a special time of day and spot to bond while reading

–      bring books with you in the car or while waiting for an appointment

–      include books which expand on an experience your child has recently had

–      as they get older, include books which have facts about a topic of interest to them (for ex. Whales)

–      have your preschooler make his own books with your help

–      take photos or journal about a special activity or trip and compile a book related to this event

–      add other reading materials such as catalogs, magazines, newspapers, and lists to the collection of reading material

Holidays and special occasions are a great reason to buy books for your child.  Encourage trips to the public library in your town to borrow books and spend time exploring the shelves.  Make sure you set aside designated  time and a special place for collecting and sharing books together!