Incorporate Books into Well-Child Exams

Tips for bringing books into the checkup.

Here are some basic tips on how to incorporate the Reach Out and Read intervention into regular pediatric checkups.

1. Start with the book.
Give a brand-new book at the beginning of the visit, incorporating it during the exam. The book should be age appropriate and culturally sensitive for the specific child. Do not give it as a gift at the end; use it to survey gross and fine motor skills, and cognitive and speech milestones. Model reading the book aloud to the child and explain to the parent what you are doing and why.

2. Observe how the parent and child interact.
Listen to the comments and observe behaviors. Give positive feedback or suggestions. Model effective reading techniques to guide parents: point and name objects and colors, ask child appropriate questions, and employ silly/cute voices (and/or facial expressions) to make reading fun. Give a prescription for reading aloud.

3. Tie everything together.
Help the parent understand the importance of language and development skills. Talk about routines, power struggles, and control issues. Emphasize how reading together helps families create strong emotional bonds and positive lifelong memories.

U.S. Totals
4.7 million
children served annually

Reach Out and Read's thousands of doctors and nurses promote early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents.

  Local Impact
Awards & Endorsements Recognition for Reach Out and Read's Impact Nationwide.
Endorsed By American Academy of Pediatrics
Award Winner 2013 David M. Rubenstein Prize
Endorsed by National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
Literacy Partner American Academy of Family Physicians
Contact Reach Out and Read
Reach Out and Read National Center
89 South St, Suite 201
Boston, MA 02111

Parent Resources

A Prescription to Read 20 Minutes Every Day.

Suggested Reading:

Title: Hide and Peek
Author: Odette Ross
Reading To Your Twelve To Eighteen Month Old

This tactile board book features objects and animals familiar to your baby.  You can name an object and point to the image to help reinforce language development.

View all