RIF's Reading Checkup for Babies and Toddlers

It's never too soon to begin reading to your child. Babies enjoy hearing a parent's voice, even if they can't understand the words. They soak up the language and attention. Toddlers can listen longer and follow a simple story. They focus on the pictures, but they are learning some of the basics about reading, such as how to hold a book and turn the pages. They are also learning to love it.

How is your child developing as reader?  Use RIF’s Reading Checkup to evaluate his or her progress.  It describes the knowledge and skills most babies and toddlers demonstrate.


Does your child...


1. Respond happily to reading by waving hands or batting the pages?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes      c. often

2. Treat books differently than other playthings?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes      c. often
3. Join in when you read rhymes, sounds, or lines that repeat?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes      c. often

4. Want to read the same book again and again?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes      c. often 

Can your child...


1. Hold a book right-side up and turn the pages one at a time?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes     c. often

2. Point to something in picture and say its name?

    a. not yet      b. sometimes     c. often

3. Retell something that happened during the day?

    a. not yet     b. some words    c. often

4. Hold a crayon in a fist and scribble?

    a. not yet      b. without control     c. with control


Notice where most of your checkmarks fall. If your answers are mostly As, your child may still be making the transition from an earlier stage. If the answers are mostly Bs, your child is in the middle of this stage. If you checked mostly Cs, your child is probably stepping up to the next level.

Important: If you have any concerns about your child’s reading progress, talk to a pediatrician or early childhood educator. 


Advice for New Parents

Be a Literacy "Informant"

Have you read an early literacy article in your favorite newspaper, magazine, or online?  If so, let us know by sending an e-mail to
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