How To Help Early Reader Development – From Birth To 2 Years.

Most adults don’t consider reading development until pre-school (play school) but reading development takes place at a much earlier age.  Literacy skills involve much more than just being able to read, it involves conversation, reading and writing. From birth you can help you child build their vocabulary, the moment you start to talk to your child you have set them down the education route, of which you have the largest part to play. So how can you help develop your child’s reading habit from birth.How To Help Early Reader Development - From Birth To 2 Years.

  1. Read to them at bedtime. Yes the old bedtime story can begin at birth as part of the bedtime routine. (Although you might have more things on your mind in the first few months, like getting enough sleep, but once your child has settled down into a night routine you can begin.) Find colourful books that you can show your child the pages from, nothing too long -one sentence per page will do. Hold your baby in your arms as you read from the book so they can see the images.
  2. Talk to your child, using correct terms for objects and people at all times. Do not go down the road of using silly made up words. Show your child enough respect to use the correct terms for items instead. Tell them where you are going and what you will be doing when you get there. Getting into this habit from birth will help you develop a routine with your child to help with my next point.
  3. Point out objects and people along your travels, in your home and garden. Your child will begin to associate the name with the object or person. You are helping your child begin to develop their language skills as well as their ability to read. Don’t forget to point point out road signs with words on them, shop names, animals, people in uniform etc.
  4. As soon as they can hold a cup or bottle by themselves they can help you hold the book you are reading to them. Allow them to do this, start pointing out words in the books or describe the pictures to them. Point out objects and people, around one you can then begin to ask them to point out the same objects and people. This will take time, so don’t panic if they don’t do it straight away. Let them feel the book in their hands, give them small books they can hold too. Small children love putting things in their mouth so make sure the book is mouth proof!
  5. Listen to audiobooks in the car and at home. Remember you are developing language skills here so hearing the written word spoken is brilliant for them. Even listening to your books with you -as long as appropriate – is important too.
  6. Tell them a story in your own words, add in noises things make. Soon enough they will begin to tell you a story.
  7. Seeing you read. It’s important to let your child see you read, it develops a sense of reading as a good pastime, as enjoyable and fun to do.
  8. Take them to the library from birth. You can pick up some great books and audiobooks for yourself at first, but as they grow you can also get books for them. This introduces them to the world of books and people who love reading as much as you do.

Some books to get you started.

1.. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – By Eric Carle
2. Where’s Spot? – By Eric Hill
3. Good Night, Gorilla – By Peggy Rathmann
4. My Big Animal Book – By Roger Priddy
5. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? – By Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle
6. The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book – By Eric Carle

7. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – By Judi Barrett
8.  The Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street) (Big Bird’s Favorites Board Books) – By Jon Stone
9. Green Eggs & Ham – By Dr. Seuss
10. The Rainbow Fish – By Marcus Pfister
11. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – By Dr. Seuss
12. The Giving Tree – By Shel Silverstein
13. I Just Forgot – By Mercer Mayer
14. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – By Bill Martin Jr./Eric Carle
15. Where the Wild Things Are –By Maurice Sendak

Some Irish/English books too.


16.Lorcan and The Magic Whistle -by Dolores Andrew-Gavin

17. Niamh and the Journey To Baba Yaga -by Dolores Andrew-Gavin

Some Audiobooks for small children

1.Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? By Eric Carle

2. Walking through the Jungle By Stella Blackstone

3. The Wheels on the Bus By BBC Audiobooks

4. Peppa Goes Swimming (Peppa Pig Series)

5. Thomas and friends

6. Fun In The Car -by Michelle Waldron


I hope this may answer some of your questions regarding starting off reading development. If you have any other questions or comments I’d be delighted to answer them.

Did you know we offer help to parents of children with dyslexia. Call our offices in Ferns or Wexford Town on 089 4373641 to make an appointment.



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