Raising a Reader

 

Read to your baby.  Even tiny babies are interested in pictures and they love to snuggle up close and listen to the rhythm of your voice.  Hold your baby so he can see you and the book.  Point to pictures and name them, speaking slowly and clearly.  Let him hold the book and turn the pages so that reading is an active experience.

Reading to your baby helps her make connections between words and meaning.  It also helps to create a warm, safe environment for her and can lead to a lifetime love of reading and learning.

When choosing books to read to your baby, look for bold, colourful pictures, rhyming text, and simple words.  Also pick books which include pictures of other babies and familiar items or events in your baby’s life.  Stories should be short at first.  You can begin to read longer stories as your baby’s attention span increases.  Remember that babies are often interested in touching, tasting and tossing the books, so cloth, cardboard and soft plastic books with flaps and holes are perfect.

Aside from reading, you can lay the foundation for reading in your daily activities, when you point out objects and describe what you are doing while dressing your baby.  Talk or sing to your baby when you change her diaper or feed her lunch.  Point out words on signs at the park, at the zoo, or when walking or driving.

Some good books for baby include:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Pat the Bunny by Edith Kunhardt Davies

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