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Ages & Stages

How to Share Books with Your Preschooler

Even children in preschool can enjoy books and learn from sharing books with you. Sharing books with your children can help them learn to talk better and get them ready to listen and learn in school.

Making Books A Part of Your Child’s Bedtime Routine

Set aside 20 to 30 minutes with the TV off for sharing books as part of your regular bedtime routine. Regular bedtime routines started when children are young help prevent future bedtime struggles. Teaching your children how to fall asleep alone by putting them in bed awake helps prevent future night wakings.

4 Year Olds Can:

  • Tell you which books they want to share with you.
  • Pretend to read a favorite book aloud to you.
  • Tell you how a story is like things they have seen or done.
  • Ask you questions about books you are enjoying together.
  • “Correct” you if you skip a word or page in a favorite book.
  • Tell you the story in a favorite book in their own words.

What Parents Can Do:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place for book sharing.
  • Ask your child to tell you about the pictures and the story.
  • Respond with enthusiasm to your child’s questions and comments.
  • Ask your child to show you all the things in a picture that are alike in some way. You can say: “Can you find all the blue things?” or “Show me all the things that can fly.”
  • Point out colors, shapes, numbers and letters in their books.
  • Take your child to your local public library to borrow books or to enjoy Story Time.
Last Updated
Committee on Early Childhood (Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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