What is your earliest memory of read aloud books?
It’s never too early to start reading to your kids or grandkids, but you may not know where to start. Here are a few tips on how to read books to babies and a book list of 10 read aloud books for babies. Some of my favorite book memories include my mom reading aloud to my kids on vacations and my daughter asking for books at her baby shower.
Reading is such an important skill to model and teach. Children who are read aloud to have a head start on learning language skills and vocabulary. It is important for little ones to hear the language and the rhythm and rhymes of read-alouds. It helps establish routines, emotional learning, and bonding. Babies’ attention span might only be a page at a time but do not give up the practice of read aloud books for babies.
How to read books to babies
Choose books that have large and simple pictures of familiar items. Books designed with stiff, thicker pages are easier to handle at this age or can be propped up at tummy time. Books that are vinyl or cloth are also good choices for the younger years. Board books or favorite children’s books are great gifts for baby showers or as read aloud books for babies.
As the little one grows, you can get their attention by pointing to something in the book and interacting with the pictures. Give a little wait time to see if the baby responds and acknowledge the response, whether it is verbal or pointing. Starting with books with simple recognizable pictures will also help you start simply. Picture walk through a book or make predictions based on the title. Develop reading habits, such as a book or two at naptime or after breakfast.
Toddlers often like the familiarity of a favorite book and the repetition of the story. You can pause occasionally to let them fill in a familiar word or talk about personal connections to the story or characters. Point to the words on the page to help your child make connections between the print and the story.
Keep a few books in the bedroom, the living room, the kitchen, the toy basket, and the car. You never know when the moment might arise to read to a child or to give them a book to look at. Many libraries offer storytimes for babies and toddlers. This is a good way to see how to read aloud to babies and to pick up a few new books.
Books can strengthen relationships with far-away relatives or friends over a video chat especially if they both have a copy of the book. I have made short videos of me reading aloud to my granddaughter. She does jabber back at them thinking it’s a live feed but it gives me joy to be able to read to her, and the videos will be available for future grandkids. (Tip: use generic words like “little one” instead of your first grandchild’s name and you can reuse the video for the rest of the grandkids.)
Modeling reading is also helpful. When you take trips to the library, be sure to get yourself some books too. Point out the joy in reading for fun and for learning new things. These younger years go by so swiftly, but it’s never too early or too late to begin reading aloud. School-age kids still benefit from read-aloud books, too, and from taking turns reading. Here’s a list of read-aloud books for the middle years and for the younger years.
10 read aloud books for babies
Here are 10 books to read aloud to babies and toddlers. Some are fun. Some are serious. Some are new and some are from my own kids’ childhood library. All are approved by my daughter and young granddaughter.
The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
God Cares How I Feel Board Book by Daily Grace Co.
A is for Artichoke by America’s Test Kitchen
Bubbles by Ben Clanton
The Fruit of the Spirit Board Book by Daily Grace Co.
Great and Small Prayers for Babies by Pamela Kennedy
If I Were a Bee by Jellycat
Puppy Peek-A-Boo by Lisa McCue
Mr Bear Says I Love You by Debi Gilori
Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Church
Bonus: I could not narrow my list to just 10 books! Here are a few more.
Sweeter than the Sweetest Honey Board Book by Daily Grace Co.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Board Book by Bill Martin, Jr.
Reading aloud is such an important part of growing up. Do not let TV, videos, or audiobooks replace reading aloud to your kids and grandkids.
What are your favorite read aloud books for babies? Post your favorite book titles below.
Table Talk: Would you rather read aloud to a baby or a teenager? Do you prefer to read books or listen to audiobooks?