What’s What Wednesday: Reading Across Your Child’s Developmental Stages
Sunshine State Counseling Center would like to continue to explore reading as it is a quick and simple way to enrich a child’s education and a wonderful way to bond at any stage of your child’s life. Choosing the best books for your child’s developmental stage is important to keeping you and your child excited about reading together. Sunshine State Counseling Center has a list to assist with each developmental stage of your child’s reading and what areas to focus on.
For a baby or toddler, focus on exposing them to how reading works. Turning pages and getting used to what letters look like important aspects of pre-reading knowledge. Board books are good choices for this age group because they have sturdy cardboard pages that are easy for young fingers to grip and can stand up to rough play and chewing.
When a child reaches age 3 or 4, try to venture beyond simple board books, but stick to fun stories with lots of pictures to help them stay interested. Rhyming books are often appealing at this age.
As your child enters the elementary school stage, children are generally ready to begin reading. Continue to read with your child, and let them select books they find interesting and appealing. These may include children’s literature and fiction, children’s art and music books and children’s nature books.
Finally, some strategies to assist adolescents to read can include providing books that are of the adolescent’s interests, making sure they have access to reading materials and adult modeling of reading as opposed to the use of electronics.
Tip: To ensure that the books you choose are at an appropriate level, use the Five Finger Rule: if your child can count five unfamiliar words by the end of the first page, the book is probably too advanced.