Five Reading Tips for Parents of Babies Part I
It’s never too early to read to your baby. As soon as your baby is born, he or she starts learning. Just by talking to, playing with, and caring for your baby daily, you help your baby develop the language skills necessary to become a reader. By reading with your baby, you foster a love of books and reading right from the start. These five tips below offer fun ways to help your child become a happy and confident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best for your child.
Snuggle up with a book.
When you hold your baby close and look at a book together, your baby will enjoy the snuggling and hearing your voice and the story. Feeling safe and secure with you while looking at a book builds your baby’s confidence and love of reading.
Choose baby-friendly books.
Books with bright, bold, or high-contrast illustrations are easier for young babies to see and will grab their attention. Books made of cloth or soft plastic (for the bathtub) or “board books” with sturdy cardboard pages are easier for a baby to handle.
Keep books where your baby can reach them.
Make sure books are as easy to reach, hold, and look at as toys. Remember, a baby will do with a book what he does with everything else — put it in his mouth. And that’s exactly what he’s supposed to do, so you may only want to put chewable books within reach.
Talk with your baby—all day long.
Describe the weather or which apples you are choosing at the grocery. Talk about the pictures in a book or things you see on a walk. Ask questions. By listening, your child learns words, ideas, and how language works.
Encourage your baby’s coos, growls, and gurgles. They are your baby’s way of communicating with you and are important first steps toward speech. Encourage attempts to mimic you. The more your baby practices making sounds, the clearer they will become. Go ahead and moo, woof, and honk!