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How to read to your 1 year old and what to expect

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You’ll hear it from all the experts: it’s never too early to read to your children! What they don’t tell you is that reading to a 1 year old is nothing like reading to an adult. They won’t just sit quietly and listen to you. They may not understand 100% of what you’re saying. They’ll often grab, mouth, point to, and pat the pages. But that’s exactly what reading should look like at this age! Here are our top tips for making reading fun for your 1 year old. 

1. Be dramatic 

Your child will love it when you speak in silly voices, use facial expressions, and make the story dramatic. 

2. Read books with colorful illustrations 

At this age, your child may gravitate towards the illustrations more than the story itself. Choose a book with clean and colorful illustrations with many things for your child to point to. 

3. Make it personal 

Connect what’s happening in the book to your child’s life. If the book is about going to the playground, ask your child if they like going to the playground. 

4. Interact with your child 

Your child may begin to point at certain things in the book and try to name them. For example, if they say ‘baw!’ as they point to a ball, you can say ‘yes that’s a ball! It’s a big yellow ball!.’ 

5. Keep books within your child’s reach 

When you’re decorating your child’s play area, consider putting a low bookshelf that your child can reach. Your child will love choosing books and bringing them to you for storytime. 

6. Read everyday 

Make it a part of your routine to read everyday, even if it’s just for 10 minutes before bed. Reading not only helps language development, it’s also important for bonding with your child and building a secure attachment.

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