Growing up, I must have read the whole Chronicles of Narnia series a hundred times, and I had a handed-down set of Nancy Drew books I read over and over. My mom is a voracious reader and she – along with many great teachers over the years – taught my brother and me to think of reading as fun, rather than a chore. Now one of my favorite activities is reading with my daughter Fiona, who loves books too (and not just when she’s stalling before bed or nap time!)
If your children’s library needs a refresh, check out our Spring Reading List for some suggestions. The list was put together by the KinderCare education team to include classics and newer books, with developmentally appropriate and engaging options for children of various ages. I spoke with KinderCare’s education program manager KelliAnn Garcia for some insights on how different age groups benefit from reading:
- Infant (0-12 months), exposure to vocabulary, hearing a variety of sounds and feeling connected to parents or caregivers stimulates brain growth and development.
- Toddler (12-24 months) begin imitating sounds and speaking a few identifiable words. Continued exposure to new books helps them continue to build their vocabulary.
- Twos (2-3 years) may start asking questions; this is when the “why” stage begins and critical thinking skills emerge. Vocabulary development continues as they begin to recognize and understand more complex words.
- Preschool (3-4 years) may start developing a love of reading and continue building literacy skills. Seeing words in print and connecting letters to sounds and words they are familiar with is the link between spoken and written language.
- PreK (4-5 years) start to understand the parts of a story and can predict what happens next with some accuracy and even retell the story. Developing narrative skills demonstrate children’s understanding of what they are reading.
- Kindergarten (5-6 years) to second graders (7 to 8 years) can understand more complex concepts like character development. Stories can convey broader messages about topics like social responsibility or problem solving.
You can download the KinderCare Spring Reading List here.