Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families Early Experiences Matter

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From Baby to Big Kid

An e-newsletter that showcases how children learn and grow each month from birth to 3 years. From Baby to Big Kid translates the science of early childhood and offers strategies parents can tailor to their unique family situation and to the needs of their child.
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Choosing Books for Babies and Toddlers

For Babies 0-6 Months

  • Books with simple, large pictures or designs with bright colors.

  • Stiff cardboard, "chunky" books, or fold out books that can be propped up in the crib.

  • Cloth and soft vinyl books with simple pictures of people or familiar objects that can go in the bath or get washed.

For Babies 6-12 Months

  • Board books with photos of other babies.

  • Brightly colored "chunky" board books to touch and taste!

  • Books with photos of familiar objects like balls and bottles.

  • Books with sturdy pages that can be propped up or spread out in the crib or on a blanket.

  • Plastic/vinyl books for bath time.

  • Washable cloth books to cuddle and mouth.

  • Small plastic photo albums of family and friends.

For Young Toddlers 12-24 Months

  • Sturdy board books that they can carry.

  • Books with photos of children doing familiar things like sleeping or playing.

  • Goodnight books for bed time.

  • Books about saying good-bye and hello.

  • Books with only a few words on each page.

  • Books with brightly colored, engaging illustrations.

  • Books with simple rhymes or predictable text.

  • Touch-and-feel books.

  • Animal books of all sizes and shapes.

For Older Toddlers 24-36 Months

  • Books that tell simple stories.

  • Simple rhyming books that they can memorize.

  • Bed time books.

  • Books about counting, the alphabet, shapes or sizes.

  • Animal books, vehicle books, books about playtime.

  • Pop-up books, pull-the-tab books, touch-and-feel books.

  • Books with humorous pictures and words.

For Preschoolers 3-5 Years

  • Books about children that look and live like them, as well as about children living very different lives.

  • Counting books or other "concept" books about things like size or time.

  • Simple "science" books about things and how they work—like garbage trucks, flowers or tools.

  • Books about things in which they have a special interest in such as trains, animals or cooking.

  • Books about making friends.  (Also books about dealing with the challenges of friendships—making up after an argument, dealing with a bossy friend, etc.)

  • Books about going to school or to the doctor.

  • Books about having brothers or sisters.

  • Books with simple text that they can memorize or read!

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1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037 | Phone: (202) 638-1144 | Fax: (202) 638-0851

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