ParentClick Ventura

Read to your child, books help build the brain


A child’s brain develops more in the first 5 years of life than at any other time.

Exposing children to books and stories from the very beginning of their lives supports children’s brain development by giving children a foundation for reading, writing and learning.

In celebration of Children’s Book Week, First 5 Santa Barbara County recommends the following tips for parents of young children.

Read and share stories with your child every day from the time they are an infant. You can even start reading to your child while you are pregnant.

Let children play with books. It helps them to become comfortable and interested in them. Even chewing on a book plays a role in a child’s early connection to books

Make reading fun. Use different voices for the characters. You can even turn the story into a song. Let children turn the pages-even a baby can learn to turn the pages of a book.

Make trips to the library and bookstores a regular part of the time you spend with your child.
For additional information and ideas early literacy and brain development visit:

We can see that the first three years of exploring and playing with books, singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, recognizing words, and scribbling are truly the building blocks for language and literacy development.

  • Make Sharing Books Part Of Every Day
  • Read or share stories at bedtime or on the bus.
  • Have Fun. Children can learn from you that books are fun and that is an important ingredient in learning to read.
  • A Few Minutes Is OK Don’t worry if you don’t finish the story. Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story, but as they grow, they will be able to sit longer.
  • Talk or Sing About the Pictures
  • You do not have to read the words to tell a story.
  • Let Children Turn the Pages
  • Babies need board books and help turning pages, but a three-year-old can do it alone. Remember, it’s OK to skip pages!
  • Show Children the Cover Page
  • Explain what the story is about.
  • Show Children the Words. Run your finger along the words as you read them, from left to right.
  • Make the Story Come Alive. Create voices for the story characters and use your body to tell the story.
  • Make It Personal. Talk about your own family, pets, or community when you are reading about others in a story.
  • Ask Questions About the Story, and Let Children Ask Questions Too!
  • Use the story to engage in conversation and to talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let Children Tell The Story. Children as young as three years old can memorize a story, and many children love to be creative through storytelling.


February 26, 2015

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