What to read to a 3-year-old?

My cousin is a mom of a 3-year-old girl and is really worried that her daughter keeps on watching too much of cartoons on television or mobile phone. She wants to get her full attention, but her daughter wants to watch cartoon shows even while eating or before sleeping. I suggested that she must introduce the activity of reading to her girl, especially before she goes to sleep as we all know that gadgets are really bad for all the reasons. Reading is an addiction that should be encouraged by parents once the child is about one year old. This helps in better bonding and you can get your child’s full attention by imparting love. The sounds and rhythms in speech help in their language development and they start understanding more words quickly as compared to other kids whose parents don’t read to them. Early exposure to the books makes a drastic difference in the long term by boosting the child’s language abilities and their eagerness to learn to read and write.

How to choose the correct books according to their age?

Always choose books with little text and large pictures in high contrast, which attracts the tiny tots and grabs their attention instantly. It is also recommend that books with interactive material like peepholes, touch and feel or puppets for better understanding. Reading to a child is more about the tone of the voice and cuddling up. Make use of more meaningful words to increase their vocabulary, act out with your voice, face or hands and point to the pictures that interest them.

Introduce books with few sentences and you can read about animals while making animal noises. This will help them to learn animal sounds with great ease. You can also introduce questions about the animal sounds during the story and show him pictures of things that the child does not see daily. The routine of reading to the children is calming and reassuring for them and they may want to go over the same book again and again. This repetition provides a learning benefit as well and they start remembering new words.

How do books help?

When you read out books to your 3-year old kid, they start holding their books correctly and turn pages with ease. They will recall familiar words and phrases and know the difference between numbers and letters. You can also start talking to the 3-year-old about numbers, letters or words and help them introduce text in his daily life. Three-year-old children can be chatty so get them into talking and help them in making up their own stories about their time spent with friends or his visit to a park. Write the story and read it out to them so that they can be more creative next time. You can also read out non-fiction books to the child on his favourite topic like dinosaurs, cars, animals, fairies, dolls, etc. that are designed with pictures according to the child’s age.

Expert tip –

Using the phone or a tablet to read is also a great idea as there are several popular titles that are easily available on the apps and online. Pick out stories with different backgrounds and experiences so that the child gets to learn about other people’s lives and understands kindness and empathy. You can also ask for book suggestions from school librarians or preschool teachers and can exchange books with other kids of the same age. Keep the books in a more accessible area at home and who knows they might grab the books themselves to look at pictures or to pretend to read.


My cousin started reading to her little girl before bedtime, which instilled in her an interest in stories and improved her child’s speaking ability. The child grew closer to the mother and this opened a window for the girl into a world of literacy. You will be amazed to see your child speaking more and more sentences gradually and how they begin to recognize street signs, vehicles and animals around him. Try reading new stories to your child – this will also help them be more curious about the stories and their interest in reading books will increase.
What is your kid’s favourite book? Do share with us in the comment section.

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