“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”- Emilie Buchwald
It’s never to early to start reading to your baby. Not only will it help develop lifelong reading habits, but it will help to create a special time for bonding and connection.
Statistics show that children that are read to daily will know more words by age 2 than children who are not read to at all. Every family member or caregiver should be encouraged to read to your child and encourage them to participate in the reading (turn pages, point to objects).
Here are a few tips to get reading started with your baby:
High Contrast Black and White Pictures
For young babies (0-3 months) select books with high contrast black and white pictures since sight is still developing. Bold lines, simple images, shapes and patterns on each page are easier for young eyes to focus on because they stand out. Prompt babies to touch, point, gurgle and trace what they see on each page.
Since infants can’t comprehend the words you’re reading, it’s all about tone of voice and snuggling. Even though a newborn won’t understand the words, simply hearing your voice will help him decipher new sounds and develop listening skills. Try using different pitches, tones and voices for characters to keep babies engaged and excited.
Interactive books with flaps, finger puppets, touch and feel objects, and mirrors help to develop both fine motor and reading skills. Additionally, when babies pull tabs and lift flaps etc. they are working on dexterity, and hand-eye coordination.
Repetition and Predictability
Select books with predictable patterns and phrases to increase engagement. These books usually include rhyming or repetition of a simple phrase on each page. As babies grow into toddlers, they will love reading these books over and over as they develop early literacy skills.
Utilize daily tummy time as another way for babies to enjoy books. Books can be propped up on the floor and babies will naturally be drawn to images or textures on a page, while developing core and neck strength. Books with baby faces, bright colors or black and white images are great options. The following accordion books are great options for tummy time reading:
What are some of your reading suggestions for babies? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment on the wall and happy reading!