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Reading with a 15-month-old baby: between fidgeting and exploring the pages

A baby reading a book, exploring the pages while wiggling.

Learning to read is a long process for children, starting at an early age. From as early as 15 months, a baby begins to take an interest in books and to handle the pages with curiosity. In this article, we'll explore how a 15-month-old behaves when he discovers a book, and how to support his learning process.

First interactions with books

At first, a 15-month-old baby is not yet aware that the pages contain words and images that tell a story. For them, books are more like objects they can touch, chew and explore at will. The first interactions with books are therefore mainly sensory and motor.

  • Touch : the child tries to grab the pages and turn them to discover what's on them.
  • Vision : he carefully observes the colors, shapes and contrasts on the pages.
  • Motor skills : develops fine motor skills by grasping pages and turning them with precision.

15-month-old baby turning the pages of a book on the floor

Choosing the right books

To encourage these first interactions, it's essential to choose age-appropriate books. They should be sturdy and easy to handle. There are cloth, plastic and thick cardboard books that can withstand babies' assaults.

What's more, the illustrations should be simple, colorful and attractive to capture the child's attention. Don't hesitate to choose books with different textures, elements that can be lifted or sound parts to further stimulate baby's curiosity.

Accompanying children in their discovery

Parental support is essential to encourage babies to develop an interest in books and reading. Here are a few tips to encourage these moments of exchange around books:

  1. Making books accessible: make them available in a dedicated area within easy reach of the child.
  2. Establish rituals : offer regular reading times, for example before bedtime, to create a habit.
  3. Leading by example: Let him see you reading, and enjoy sharing this activity with him.
  4. Interacting with children : Ask them questions about what they see, encourage them to turn the pages and explore the book.

The benefits of shared reading

Shared reading, i.e. when an adult reads a book aloud in the child's presence, has many benefits for the child's development:

  • Language : by listening to adults read, children enrich their vocabulary and learn the structures of the language.
  • Understanding: he develops his listening and concentration skills, as well as his understanding of stories.
  • Emotional: Sharing a moment of reading creates a bond between adult and child, offering a safe space to express emotions.
  • Curiosity: discovering new stories stimulates baby's imagination and intellectual development.

a baby and a mother reading a book

Observe the child's progress

As the months go by, you'll notice progress in the way your child interacts with books. Here are just a few signs of his growing interest in reading:

  • He begins to turn the pages in a more precise and coordinated way.
  • He tries to identify what's on the pages (animals, characters, objects).
  • He listens carefully when you read aloud and tries to repeat certain words.
  • They want to choose the books they want to read themselves.

Encouraging autonomy

It's important to encourage children's autonomy in their discovery of reading. Let him choose the books that interest him and manipulate the pages at his own pace. You can also offer him solo reading time, when he can explore books on his own.

To sum up, reading for a 15-month-old baby is characterized by wiggles and a growing interest in the pages of the book. As a parent, it's vital to support this exploration and offer age-appropriate books. In this way, you can help your child develop language, comprehension and imagination, while sharing special moments with your child.


About Emma Lambert

A passionate educator and expert in the Montessori method, recognized for her deep understanding of this pedagogy and her commitment to children's education.

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