Baby activities: Reading 1000 stories

This is my grandson. He loves books.

The more our kids love books,
the more they’ll pretend to read them,
and the more they pretend to read,
the more quickly they’ll learn to read.  MEM FOX*

If you are wondering what to do with your brand new baby, or your 3 month old baby or your crawler, you won't go wrong if you read to them. Children need to hear 1000 stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read on their own (Fox, 2001).

You can read anything to babies, even the newspaper, especially in the first few months, but if you are looking for books specifically for babies there is a list of some of my favourites here. (Older children here) You can purchase many of these books at my baby bookstore but you should really make the library your second lounge room.

Reading aloud to your baby has many benefits. It actually impacts on most of the areas of School Readiness:
Sharing regular time together reading helps healthy Social emotional development as it is a positive interaction which give us a sense of comfort, confidence and safety.
Reading affects a child's approach toward learning and makes them see that the significant people in their life value reading.
Communication and language use is developed by listening to others read.
Cognition or thinking skills and general knowledge are developed as babies look and listen to books.

*Mem Fox is one of my favourite Australian authors and has written many wonderful children's books including Hello Baby! and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and my most favourite children's book WHERE is the GREEN SHEEP?
Here are her Read Aloud Commandments
1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
These are the main "commandments" that relate to babies but you can read the rest at Mem's site or in her book Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever

Babies Need Books, by Dorothy Butler in 1980 encouraged parents to read to their babies and toddlers. She argued that scientific research showed by the age of four approximately half of an individual's ultimate intelligence was formed.

Set for Success: Espinosa, L. M. (2002). The connection between social-emotional development and early literacy.

NEGP - National Education Goals Panel is a bipartisan and intergovernmental body of US federal and state officials created to assess and report progress toward achieving the National Education Goals that created the Dimensions of School Readiness. 


  1. Great article. Love anything by Mem Fox she is a great Australian author and advocate for reading to kids.

  2. Yes, we love Mem Fox and all she does for literacy