Your Toddler's Reading Skills

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From birth to age 3, most babies and toddlers become able to:

• Make sounds that imitate the tones and rhythms that adults use when talking.

• Respond to gestures and facial expressions.

• Begin to associate words they hear frequently with what the words mean.

• Make cooing, babbling sounds in the crib, which gives way to enjoying rhyming and nonsense word games with a parent or caregiver.

• Play along in games such as “peek-a-boo” and “pat-a-cake.”

• Handle objects such as board books and alphabet blocks in their play.

• Recognize certain books by their covers.

• Pretend to read books.

• Understand how books should be handled.

• Share books with an adult as a routine part of life.

• Name some objects in a book.

• Talk about characters in books.

• Look at pictures in books and realize they are symbols of real things.

• Listen to stories.

• Ask or demand that adults read or write with them.

• Begin to pay attention to specific print such as the first letters of their names.

• Scribble with a purpose (trying to write or draw something).

• Produce some letter-like forms and scribbles that resemble, in some way, writing.