Young children are terrific language explorers! Infants experiment with sounds, social babbling, and words. Toddlers are literally bursting with things to say. To help you make sure your room inspires language opportunities for even the youngest children, here are some tips to help choose age-appropriate books:
- Easy-to-hold and easy-to-clean, cloth and soft vinyl books are great introductions to print. Infants can mouth, scrunch, and even "leaf" through them lying on their backs. Toddlers can tote them along from place to place as favorite old friends.
- Good-quality, nontoxic board books, especially those where the pages seem to spring up when turned, offer very young children books they can manipulate independently and enjoy over and over again.
- At about 9 to 12 months, children begin to enjoy books in which they discover pictures of objects and activities that are familiar.
- Toddlers bring a bit more sophisticated interest to books. Look for simple, believable story lines built on events relevant to children's lives, especially predictable books in which sentences repeat and/or rhyme.
- Books hold great influence, even for the youngest child. Make sure the books available to your children include people of all races and abilities without stereotyping of any kind.