“My child hates books”, “I can’t make my kid read for more than a couple minutes”, “What’s the point of reading to a 4-month old?”. As many excuses one wants to make, there is no escaping from reading as it is the only way to get knowledge and give the brain the ability to have a successful life. Reading is like exercising–you need to do it daily and your stamina improves with time. Bedtime reading is common for children, and here’s a blog that explains why bedtime reading can have a wholesome impact on your child’s life. While many parents try to inculcate the habit of reading in their children right from the beginning, sometimes picking the age-appropriate type of book is the key to make reading enjoyable for your little one. In this blog, we will cover various types of books for children suitable for their age.
0-6 months: High contrast board books
Don’t think your baby cannot understand anything at this age. Infants have poor vision and their ability to see colours and depth fully develops at six months. However, high contrast books for children can be really helpful as babies at this age can see black and white. Most high-contrast books are made in hardcover that can withstand the wear and tear of young children. Some recommendations: Black and white board book and Baby touch.
6-12 months: Touch and feel books
While children keep liking touch and feel books much later into their toddlerhood, 6-12 months is a great time for introducing these to your bub. Touch and feel books for children satiate their need to feel everything. This is mainly the time when kids start crawling, eating solids, and exploring texture. Touch and feel books are colourful and made in hardcover to bear all the touching and playing around. Our recommendations: Baby animals, Farm friends, Animals tab book.
1-2 years: Musical books
This is the time when toddlers are learning how to talk, sing rhymes, and gather their first vocabulary. There are some amazing picture books for children of this age (we love the classics); however, this age is perfect to explore the musical books. They can hear a word as many times as they like and repeat after it. They sing and dance as the music plays endlessly. Musical books help children practise. Every child learns walking, talking, and everything they know through one thing–practise! Our favourite: Learning songs (there are cheaper musical books available in the market).
2-3 years: Flash cards and word books
When you are done with the phase of nibbling everything in sight, it is time to give your little one more variety of knowledge with colourful pictures. There are so many flash cards and word books that teach alphabets, fruits, flowers, animals, counting, and much more. There are many bend-proof and waterproof flash cards available on Amazon. These books not only help build vocabulary but also help with memory. You can make fun games with them where you could appreciate them for every complex word they get right. Our recommendation: My first flash cards colors and shapes.
3-6 years: Picture books
For preschoolers and early elementary school children, picture books are a great option. These books typically feature more text than board books for children and often include illustrations that help tell the story. In a way, you are prepping them for upcoming academic reading and comprehending. With picture books, children develop context around words and phrases and learn creative thinking. Picture books can also be used for bedtime storytelling. Our Pick: 101 Panchatantra stories for Children.
6-8 years: Easy readers
For children in the early elementary school years, easy readers are a good choice. These books typically have short sentences, simple vocabulary, and illustrations that help tell the story. However, these books are text heavier than the picture books. They are soft covers and need hands that can turn pages efficiently without tearing. Easy readers help children gather ideas to write sentences together and can inspire a child to use the vocabulary efficiently in day-to-day conversations. Our recommendation: Sudha Murthy’s Grandma’s bag of stories and Grow strong series.
8-12 years: Chapter books
Later elementary school years start getting difficult, and chapter books can help with complex essay homeworks. These books typically have longer chapters, more complex storylines, and fewer illustrations. Chapter books are varied in topics-they could be on science, history, or any other topic. Picking the right topic for your child will not only make reading interesting but can also help them identify their interests. We recommend: Sudha Murthy’s Magic of the lost temple, The kid who came from space.
12-18 years: Young Adult books
Have you read Chicken Soup for the Soul or Harry Potter series as a teenager? Teenage is especially difficult for children as they’re going through a lot of physical, hormonal, and mental changes. Books can be very useful in this age, where they can learn about a lot of things, including emotions, while they are trying to distance themselves from the elders. A well-read teenager is wiser than the others and refrains from extreme expressions. For teenagers, Young Adult (YA) books are a good choice. These books often tackle more mature themes and may have a more complex structure than chapter books.
Reading helps kids build cognitive intelligence, problem solving, critical thinking, and lots of other life skills that set them for success now and for the rest of their lives. Children follow their parents the most by observation. If you want them to develop a love for reading, read in front of them. Read your books everyday even if you think you don’t have the time, energy, or the need to read. Make it a part of your lifestyle. We can’t emphasise it enough.