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Everyone in a child’s life can help develop a love of reading right from birth. No matter how well you sing, or how well you read, you’ve got what it takes! We’re highlighting a few of the great resources available to help along the way.
Looking for ideas to help your little one learn? Good news: you don’t need any special equipment, supplies or lesson plans. If you’re reading, speaking, singing or playing together, your child is learning.
How can I help my little one learn about racial diversity? Science tells us that baby brains notice race in the very early months of life. Pre-schoolers have lots of questions about the people they see around them as they shape their view of the world. This article from Today’s Parent has some helpful tips for families with babies and older kids.
Where can I find good activities? Books aren’t the only way to surround babies with words. You can also speak, sing, play, and write with your little one. The Toronto Public Library created a list of fun activities to do with your child. Also, be sure to visit your local library to find books and programs for you and your family.
How do I choose a good book? Make sure to choose books that will hold your baby’s attention, like books with pictures and bright colours. They are attractive, sturdy and chewable! Libraries have great advice, and so does the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
What should I read as my little one keeps growing? As your baby gets older, the type of books and the way your child responds to you changes. Calgary Reads provides some information on what to read as your baby gets older, along with explanations of how your baby’s communication, social and emotional skills are developing with these new books.
Does it matter what language I use with my baby? No! Words are what matter. Using your home language will ensure that your baby develops the language areas of their brain, as well as a strong bond with you. As your baby grows and hears and learns another language, the brain power you have built will support this language learning too. Find out more in this resource from Best Start by Health Nexus.
Is there an app for this? Yes! The Centre for Family Literacy in Edmonton created this free app for parents and caregivers. From songs and nursery rhymes, to games and even recipes, it’s designed for fun baby and pre-school brain building!
How do I manage screen time? Canada’s pediatricians recommend limiting screen time at home and whenever possible, and choosing educational, age-appropriate and interactive content. Screens are attractive to children and the more time they spend on them, the less time there is to enjoy activities with a loved one. That applies to you too: the more time you spend on your device, the more you might miss your baby’s call for attention. Pediatricians recommend that children under the age of two should have no screen time and device use and should not exceed one hour until the age of five.
When should I start? Now. In the first year of life, your baby’s brain is absorbing everything from the world around them especially rapidly, but it’s never too late to start. Talking, singing and sharing books will fill your little one’s first years with sounds, words and feelings. This helps prepare them to eventually learn to read printed words. Canada’s pediatricians think so, too.
What can I do to make my baby a reader? From tips and tricks for new parents to book suggestions for growing children, this New York Times article talks about how to develop a love of reading right from birth.

So What Can I Do?