LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – March is National Reading Month, a time to celebrate and promote reading and the importance it plays in our lives.

It helps develop language skills expand our knowledge about the world can help children better learn to focus concentrate and socialize.

Experts say it’s never too early to start reading to your kids, even if your little one is still an infant.

Their brains are developing quickly and the first few years pave the way for the rest of their lives.

Reading is an important part of that because it helps introduce new and more complex vocabulary visualize images and understand stories.

Research shows reading books to kids when they’re young can also improve their social and behavioral skills.

Studies show reading to children can help reduce stress and depression.

Here are some things to think about when it comes to reading to the little ones:

  • Doctors recommend reading to your children for at least a few minutes every day.
    • Babies might only be able to handle a couple of minutes, but as kids get older their attention span can start to handle longer stories.
  • Don’t expect perfection.
    • Younger kids especially might want to move around the room while you’re reading.
  • Follow your little one’s lead.
    • If they want you to reread a page just go with it. If they want to stop and point out everything in the pictures, let them.

You’ll also want to pick out the right books for the right age.

For babies 12 months and younger, try thick cardboard books. They tend to be a good size for them to hold, and they’re sturdy and can handle a little chewing and tossing.

For kids one to two years old, experts say that’s a good age to introduce books with sounds in them.

After that, you can start introducing books with more and more words in them.

Experts also say between one and three years old is a great time to start establishing a solid reading routine.

Get ready to repeat yourself the repetition helps kids learn and familiar books can help children ease into sleep.

Additionally, keep reading to your children even after they learn to read themselves. School-aged kids still benefit from reading with their parents.