Picking The Right Children’s Books According To Age

Children's Books

Picking the right children’s books according to age is crucial for their mental growth and development. 

According to First Things Posts, 90% of brain development happens before kindergarten. Thus, choosing the right book and reading it to your infants and toddlers significantly aids brain growth and development.

Reading is more than just deciphering words from pages; according to pediatric neurologistsit is a gateway to knowledge, imagination, and a deeper understanding of the world. 

Why is picking the right book important for Children?

Reading the right books to children significantly aids their language development. It builds neural pathways for language skills by exposing them to different language patterns. Through stories, kids explore emotions, develop empathy, and understand others’ feelings. 

Reading also expands their vocabulary and helps to develop effective communication with young children. Plus, it creates a special bond between parents and children.

How to Pick the Right Children’s Books According to Age

Children may not be able to understand and comprehend what you are reading to them. Therefore, choosing the right children’s books according to their ages is crucial. Picking the right kind of children’s book is essential, as it can help encourage their reading habits and development.

Below, we have developed guidelines for selecting age-appropriate books for your children:

Infants and Toddlers (6 months – 2 years):

Infants and toddlers are very attracted to bright colors and simple pictures. Therefore, to pick the right children’s book for infants and toddlers, you should always consider books that are brighter in color, have sturdy board pages, feature high-contrast images, and include patterns.

Children also respond well to books with simple text and good rhythms, like simple songs. You can choose board books containing basic shapes, everyday objects, illustrations, and photographs. One crucial consideration is that these books should be easy to handle and safe to put in the mouth.

Your goal when selecting books for infants and toddlers is to develop their sensory skills and early language skills by engaging them with simple stories and helping them begin to understand the basics of communication and storytelling.

Below, we have suggested some popular children’s books for infants aged 0 to 2 years.

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
  • What’s Up, Duck?: A Book of Opposites
  • Goodnight Moon
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Moo, Baa, La La La!

Preschool (3-5 years):

6-8 Years Age

In this age group, children are more inclined toward visual interpretations. Parents may select detail-oriented books featuring engaging stories and vibrant illustrations. Children in this age group enjoy Mother Goose rhymes, nursery stories, and books that depict familiar objects and experiences.

Parents can also introduce alphabet books containing numbers, shapes, and colors. It is recommended for parents to look for books that explore everyday life scenarios, simple stories, and topics that trigger imagination and curiosity about the world.

The goal for this age group is to enhance their vocabulary skills, start building logical thinking abilities, and learn the importance of early childhood development. As preschool children begin to understand more complex ideas, good books help them discuss the motivational characters and outcomes of the narratives.

Here are some books suggested for preschool children 

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Pete the Cat
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
  • The Book with No Pictures

Early Elementary (6-8 years):

Children in this early elementary stage prefer picture books with strong storylines. Parents should ensure that children in this age group read books that help develop characters, build morals, solve simple mysteries, and explain how things work.

Books for this age group should contain more text than pictures. Books on simple science experiments and nature and collections of short stories are particularly suitable.

The ultimate goal is to strengthen reading fluency and comprehension for this age group. Children in this range should start reading independently and appreciate books that offer a deeper understanding of the world around them.

Here are some books recommended for early elementary children ages 6 to 8.

  • Junie B. Jones Series
  • Here’s Hank Series
  • Mercy Watson Series
  • Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
  • Magic Tree House Series

Tweens (9-12 years):

For children aged 9 to 12, well-illustrated books with exciting stories involving adventure, mysteries, real-life issues, or fantasy play a crucial role in developing child psychology. Parents should consider introducing their children to longer, more detailed stories with chapters, diverse characters, and an emerging vocabulary.

Children should also seek out non-fictional books that involve adventure, mystery, real-life issues, or fantasy. Books that help tweens understand diverse perspectives and different cultures are particularly beneficial.

The goal of these books is to develop critical thinking and empathy. In this age group, children can handle more nuanced and emotionally rich content, which aids in building their critical thinking abilities and broadening their immediate experiences.

Here are some appropriate books for tweens: 

  • Harry Potter
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • Little Women
  • American Born Chinese
  • Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Revealed

Teens (13+ years):

Developing reading habits for teens is crucial in building the right character traits into adulthood. At this age, parents should allow diversity in teens’ book choices. However, you can guide them toward sophisticated young adult classical novels with more mature themes, biographies, and adult fiction.

Parents should focus on providing content with complex storylines, diverse characters with depth, and a strong emphasis on character development. You can also introduce them to young adult novels, poetry, plays, and essays that offer new challenges.

During this phase, the goal should be to foster independent thinking and deeper comprehension. Teenagers should be encouraged to interpret complex narratives and diverse viewpoints, enhancing their analytical skills and emotional understanding.

Below are some suggestions:

  • It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime
  • Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation)
  • Superman: Dawnbreaker
  • Young adults and coming-of-age books, as well as other non-fiction books for teens

Advantages of Reading for Children

As mentioned earlier, the benefits of reading for children are immense. From language development to cultivating a lifelong love for reading, the advantages of reading surpass any other mental growth activity. Below, we outline some key benefits of reading for children:

Language development

For children aged six months to 6 years old, reading to them helps build language skills. Picking the right children’s books is crucial for this age group. You should expose your children to a wide variety of language patterns to aid in their brain development.

Emotional developments

Another important benefit of reading the right kind of book is that it helps children handle challenging emotions by developing empathy and understanding feelings. Age-appropriate books, from pre-teen levels to the teen period, allow children to gradually develop emotional resilience.

Cognitive Development

Picking the right kind of age-appropriate books also exposes children to new words, different language patterns, and diverse ideas, enhancing their vocabulary and cognitive capacity. It also encourages independent thinking and helps them learn about the world in a fun and exciting way.

Tips and Tricks to Grow Children’s Reading Habits

To grow your child’s reading habits, it is crucial to create a reading-friendly environment. You can designate a specific reading space at home. Additionally, a consistent routine should be established to encourage regular reading habits. 

Selecting the right kind of books keeps them engaged. Also, consider reading your books in front of them to influence and encourage their reading habits.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right kind of age-appropriate books is crucial for children’s development. Growing reading habits offer numerous benefits, ranging from language and emotional development to cognitive growth, confidence building, and motivation for self-learning.

Through extensive reading, children experience several learning outcomes, including vocabulary expansion, critical thinking skills, empathy, understanding, and knowledge acquisition.

We understand how challenging it can be to promote developmentally appropriate behavior, so choosing the right children’s books according to their age can significantly aid in their overall psychological development.

For more information, you can always consult with Meaningful BeginningTheir decades of experience have helped develop many businesses across the US and around the globe.

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Emily Pham

Infant Teacher

My name is Emily and I am an infant teacher. My aim with this position is to learn how children develop as unique individuals and learn how to support their holistic growth. I am currently a student at San Francisco
State University majoring in Child and Adolescent Development. With this experience, I am hoping to get a sense on whether I want to continue to work in the classroom or if I want to learn the administrative side of education. The experience of working directly with children is gratifying and I wish to create a safe space for children to explore with all of their senses as they develop their own personalities. I hope to be able to help build a strong foundation so that the children can have the confidence and ability to express themselves.