Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reading with your Baby

Do you know that although a baby is usually a passive participant in the reading of a book they will listen intently for new or unusual sounds when you read and sometimes reach for a book out of curiosity.

Here a ten tips for sharing a book with your infant:

1. Choose short books, story doesn't matter yet, but colorful illustrations are a must.
2. If your baby is between 3 and 6 months they are acquiring visual tracking skills so hold a book a little closer than you normally would and point to individual pictures.
3. Use books that have everyday items from a baby's world. Name them and point to them.
4. Reading at this stage is as much about bonding as it is about reading so hold your child on your lap and cuddle while you read.
5. Inflection and tone are very interesting to a baby. Try reading dramatically. Read slowly, vary your volume or even try repeating words.
6.  Read the same books over and over. Repetition helps your baby predict the story, build confidence and adds to your baby's growing vocabulary.
7. Don't forget to take time to look at and talk about the pictures.
8. Use a wordless picture book and make up a different story each time you look at the book.
9. Read Nursery Rhymes and poetry. Children will respond to the natural rhythms. Or make your own silly rhymes about characters in non-poetry books.
10. Make reading a habit. Establish a time to read every day. Keep a book in the diaper bag so you can read anytime.

Some books you might want to try reading with your baby include: 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig, Global Babies by Global Fund for Children, Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox or Are you a Cow? by Sandra Boynton. 

One last suggestion, if your baby doesn't seem interested or is too restless to read right now, put the book down and try again later. Just like you if your child is hungry, upset or distracted they cannot focus on a book. Wait for another time.

Michele, Children's Librarian

No comments: