Reading is good for kids, and their stage of cognitive development will determine the types of books that will be most engaging for them. If you want to choose books that will nurture your child’s brain, having an awareness of the following early stages of reading development will help point you in the right direction.

  • At the first stage, your child will look at the pictures in a book. There is no need for a story line during this first stage.
  • At the second stage, your child will look at the pictures and create a story all his or her own. You might need to look at the pictures yourself to get the gist of the story being told.
  • At stage three, as your child looks at the pictures in a book and “tells” you a story, it will sound as if he or she is reading. Usually, at this stage, you will not need to see the pictures to understand the story you are being told.
  • At stage four, your child will actually be paying attention to the print rather than the pictures as he or she “reads” to you. Your child is not yet actually reading but is retelling a story he or she already knows.

These stages of early reading development soon lead to the act of real reading. Parents lay the foundation for reading success and enjoyment by talking and reading to their children and playing games that involve rhyming. If you can make reading an enjoyable part of daily life, it will be easier for your child to become a proficient reader.

More to consider . . .

Reading readiness involves the development of specific skills, including:

  • Using language in conversation
  • Listening to stories read out loud
  • Recognizing and naming letters in the alphabet
  • Listening to the sounds of spoken language
  • Connecting sounds to letters
  • Reading often
  • Learning new words and how to use them accurately
  • Understanding what is read