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Information For Parents And Caregivers

Helping Your Child Learn To Read

Is it too early to begin reading to my 6-month-old?

Q: My son is 6 months old. Is this too young to start reading together?

A: It’s never too early to start. While 6 months may seem young to read to a baby, it is actually in these first months and years that early reading skills are developing. Literacy starts with a love of, and interest in, books. The goal at this age is for your son to have pleasurable and positive experiences with books so that he wants to keep learning about them. So go ahead and provide your child with chunky board books or soft cloth books that he can safely look at, chew on, and read with you. Choosing sturdy books like these means that you don’t have to say “no” or take the book away, which may build negative feelings about book play. Let him explore books in the ways he knows how right now.

Learn more at Zero to Three.

Five great resources on early literacy development: 

Hosted by Fred Rogers, The Roots of Reading looks at the earliest stages of literacy in such locations as a baby speech lab and a Head Start center. The show examines how parents, childcare providers, and kindergarten teachers can get children started on the road to literacy. This program is part of our PBS Launching Young Readers series about how children learn to read, why so many struggle, and what we can do to help.


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