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I would like to start teaching my 9-month old how to read, but he usually plays with books rather than reading them. How can I help him become a reader?

Question: 

I would like to start teaching my 9-month old how to read, but he usually plays with books rather than reading them. How can I help him become a reader?

Answer: 

It is great that you want to help your child become a good reader! There are lots of ways to support these skills at every stage of his development.

At his age, he will probably not be holding books and noticing printed words. He is at a tactile stage, which means he will want to touch everything and explore his environment by putting objects in his mouth, throwing them, and otherwise conducting little experiments on his physical environment. This is normal and necessary for his development! (That's why board books are great for infants and toddlers.)

The way he will learn the proper way to use books is by watching you read and having early exposure to books. Keep reading with him, even if he doesn't really understand it, but don't force him to sit still or turn pages gracefully! He will begin to do this as he gets older.

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase