The library, especially if it has a section set up for young children, can provide a wonderful space to be together and enjoy the world of language and books. Many libraries offer story times for children of different ages or have play areas with toys, puzzles and soft pillows or couches.
Watch and listen:
What does your child like best when you go to the library? Is it looking at books or story hour? Is it climbing the steps to get into the building? Notice what interests your child and encourage them to do more.
For your baby
It is never too early to introduce your child to books. Babies like books made from cloth or heavy paper with pictures of other babies, of everyday objects or animals. Hold your baby on your lap and let him or her “look” at books. Name things that are in the books and show your baby the real life object, such as the “nose” in a picture and the nose on your face. Borrow books that your child enjoys or seems interested in and read them together at home again and again.
For your toddler
Let your child help choose books that interest him or her, even if your child chooses the same books over and over. Repeating a known story gives your child a sense of mastery. Have your child “read” by telling you a favorite story or repeating words or phrases in the story, such as "ten apples on top" or "goodnight moon."
For your preschooler
Think about what your child loves to watch and do then borrow books that you think your child will be interested in. Keep looking for books that extend this interest. Let your preschooler choose books to borrow. Looking forward to reading a story your child chose will increase your child’s love of books and reading.
These tips were developed for Born Learning by Mind in the Making, a project of the Families and Work Institute and New Screen Concepts.