We have a slight obsession with reading in our household, and it seems like we’ve passed the bookworm genes to our child as well.
We started reading books to Roark when he was born so we could engage with him and before we knew, our story time developed into a daily routine. Nowadays, we are no longer the ones in control of what we read, Roark determines what books and how many times we read to him. Yep, he got us wrapped around his little finger!
Before R was born, I had no idea what books to buy for him (there are so many!) and I asked my family and friends to gift us their children’s favorite books in baby showers. R still loves these and they hold a special place in our hearts since they’ve been signed by whoever gifted them to us. Over the past two years, we’ve added to the collection, but there are always favorites. Books that I could recite by memory by now.
Why reading matters
We all know that literacy is super important to thrive in school and life, but I found some interesting stats to share with you.
- By age 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies and higher cognitive skills than their peers. (Child development researchers Raikes, Pan, Luze, Tamis-LeMonda, Brooks-Gunn, Constantine, Tarullo, Raikes & Rodriguez)
- Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get three years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation and class. (Educators and reading researchers Evans, Kelley, Sikora & Treiman)
- 40 million adults in the U.S. read and write at or below the 5th-grade level. (National Center of Adult Literacy)
Are any of these a shock to you?
Favorite Books for Babies and Toddlers
As we discover new books I will add them to this list of Favorite Books for Babies and Toddlers, so check back if you need more ideas.
Click on the products below to purchase them (affiliate links- it helps support this blog at no cost to you- Thank you!).
First Time Parent Tips
Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way.
- For babies, soft books with crinkly pages are so entertaining. They usually only have pictures with bright colors, but the sounds and textures are what draws them in.
- While they are infants, read your own book to them. It’s the sound of your voice that matters.
- At first, some books will seem so short and dry, but as your child develops, you will start understanding why books have different developmental exercises – from strong colors with repetition to lift-the-flaps or textures. Your child may not love a book at first, but give it a couple months, it may become their favorite.
- Accessibility is important so the non-verbal child is able to reach for books any time of the day and choose which ones she/he would like to read. R will hand us a book or two and climbs on our lap to look at the pictures. He will even turn the pages dictating the pace of the narration!
- Pay attention to your child’s development while reading to them, ask them questions even before they can speak and see if they can respond. R doesn’t speak much (he is 2 months behind his speech development), however he is way ahead in non-verbal communication. He is able to point at anything you ask him even if we’ve never taught him (things, letters and numbers), and he can physically demonstrate his train of thought (blowing on hot food).
Hopefully this list of our Favorite Books for Babies and Toddlers is helpful to get you started in your journey and helps you raise a little bookworm!