Ages and Stages

Early Literacy Milestones

3-12 Months

Your Child's Milestones:

  • Reaches for books
  • May try to turn pages
  • Puts books in mouth
  • Loves pictures of faces and simple, familiar images
  • Sits in your lap, heady steady

What You Can Do:

  • Find a quiet place to read
  • Follow baby's cues for "more" and "stop"
  • Point and name pictures
  • Allow baby to play with books

12-18 Months

Your Child's Milestones:

  • Sits without support
  • Holds book with help
  • Turns board pages
  • Points at pictures with one finger
  • May identify pictures when you ask "Where's the...?"

What You Can Do:

  • Respond to child's non-verbal requests to read (handing you a book)
  • Be patient with child's short attention span - read for short periods of time
  • Ask questions about books and name the pictures

18-24 Months

Your Child's Milestones:

  • Turns board pages easily, one at a time
  • Names familiar pictures
  • Fills in words in familiar stories
  • Attention span may be short or long

What You Can Do:

  • Relate books to child's life
  • Use books in routines, such as bedtime
  • Ask "what's that?" and give child time to answer
  • Pause and let child complete the sentence

24-36 Months

Your Child's Milestones:

  • Flips back and forth to find favorite pages in books
  • Recites whole phrases
  • Understands text and pictures are connected

What You Can Do:

  • Read favorite stories over and over
  • Ask "what's happening?"
  • Provide crayons and paper for scribbling and drawing
  • Have fun! Make different voices together

3 Years and Up

Your Child's Milestones:

  • Turns paper pages one at a time
  • Listens to longer stories
  • Retells familiar stories
  • Moves finger along text
  • Starts to recognize letters

What You Can Do:

  • Let child tell the story in her words
  • Ask "what's happening?"
  • Let child choose the book
  • Encourage writing and drawing
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