• English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

Insurance Funding Request

Did you know Firefly products may be funded by your insurance?

Learn More
Back to Firefly Blog

When Should I Start Reading Books with my Child?

When Should I Start Reading Books with my Child?

Here’s a secret- As an early intervention pediatric physical therapist, when I use a book while I ‘play’ with your baby, I can also assess their fine motor skills, cognition, play skills, expressive and receptive language, and vision.

By the time a child enters kindergarten, they should have read 1000 books.  WHAT?!?

Imagine, if you read one book a day with your child, for 365 days a year, by the time they’re three years old, that’s 1095 books.  I’m sure that there are even days that you read many more than a single book with your child.

A book is a great multisensory toy as it’s essential for learning, at any age, especially in this age of technology. This article will outline the growth and development of a child respective of a book.

Early on in development, a book serves as an oromotor stimulant that a baby can explore.

Handling a book may begin as a single-handed activity, and expand to using both hands at the midline.  Some books have sensory and auditory stimuli that maintain their attention.

Pictures are colourful and can be used to facilitate eye gaze and head control.

Then as the child realizes that there’s something inside this square or rectangular object they begin to use it as a hinge.

Your child will begin to open and close it numerous times, manipulate the book and gaze inside.

As their intellectual curiosity increases, they begin to seek more information from this object and it’s not only a hinge, it’s a hinged toy with content and context.

This next phase is a significant one.  What do those pictures mean to your child?

It’s important to see whether your child gazes at both sides of the page, or do they randomly turn pages.

Your child will develop an association between familiar items and people with sounds or real objects.

They may tap the picture, gaze in your direction; this is referred to as conjoint attention.

At this time, you can begin to label the object, and they may attempt to approximate consonant sounds or words.

They eventually read to themselves with jargon and inflections that mirror your own.  They will increase their repertoire by seeking out different books with a variety of context.

Slowly, their attention span and curiosity will increase.  I’m not specifying the length for each of these phases because this differs for every child.

In the perfect world: your child will love books, love the time you spend together and they will be available to learn.

In short, when I read a book with your child I’m checking the muscle strength of their arms and fingers and their fine motor ability to manipulate this object.

I’ll observe whether they’re eating, banging, opening and closing or just throwing the book.

I’ll listen to the sounds they make or word approximations that they use while they look at a book; lastly, and most importantly, I’ll see what this object with pictures means to your child, and take it from there.

This is the first opportunity we have as parents, and as educators, to signal to them that there is a time to move and play; however, there is also a time to stop, look and listen during play and this is an important message for every child.

Aside from spending quality time with your child, reading will prove to be the foundation for later literacy, cognitive and language skills.


Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Sharon Galitzer (Physical Therapist)

Meet Our Blogger

I'm a pediatric physical therapist and also the sibling of an adult with special needs.

View Sharon’s Profile

Become a Firefly Blogger

Would you like to write for Firefly? Join our blogger network of parents, therapists and professionals.

Get In Touch

Become a subscriber today

Join over 40,000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter with insightful articles just when you need them.

Join Mailing List

By using our site you agree to our use of cookies. Click here for more info.

Accept & Close

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on

Purchases on $99+

US Customers only. Subject to credit approval. See terms below

Paypal Credit

Pay now or pay over time with PayPal Credit. Just use PayPal Credit in PayPal checkout.

Subject to credit approval.

Purchases of $99+:

No Interest if paid in full in 6 months on purchases of $99 or more.

  • A minimum monthly payment is required and may or may not pay off the promotional purchase by the end of the 6 month period.
  • No interest will be charged on the purchase if you pay it off in full within 6 months. If you do not, interest will be charged on the purchase from the purchase date at the Purchase APR applicable to your account.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00.
  • Individual items that are less than $99 qualify for special financing when combined for a total of $99 or more in a single transaction.
  • Multiple separate transactions of less than $99 per transaction cannot be combined to meet the minimum purchase amount.

Purchases of $98.99 or less:

Buy now and pay over time with PayPal Credit when you spend $98.99 or less.

  • If you pay your balance in full each month by the payment due date that is on your statement, you can avoid paying interest.
  • Or, make minimum monthly payments, or any additional amount of your choosing, until you've paid off your balance according to your standard account terms. Please note, interest charges may apply.
  • We'll send you email reminders when your payments are due. You can also keep track of your account and view your statements online at any time.

About PayPal Credit

  • PayPal Credit is a reusable credit line available on purchases at thousands of stores that accept PayPal. It's also available for purchases on eBay and exclusively at thousands of other online stores. Plus, it comes with the same security and flexibility you trust from PayPal.
  • If approved, we start you off with a minimum credit line of at least $250. See FAQs for more info.
  • For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 25.49%. The APR is accurate as of 6/1/2018 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $2.00. See Terms and Conditions tab for more info.
  • If you miss a payment your late fee could be up to $38, even less if it's your first time. See FAQs for more info.

Please wait...