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Early literacy: Tips on reading to your baby

Updated on January 29, 2013
11 months and already enjoying a book by himself.
11 months and already enjoying a book by himself.

Just put books everywhere your baby plays

The best way to cultivate the love for reading at the start of your child's life is to create an environment that will mode that desire. Purchase baby books with primary colors, books that are colorful and that they can bite and drag around.Read your books around them, sometimes silently, letting them see how important a book is to you. They need to be aware of books as something useful, that is not just for safe keeping on a shelf. Often I have read books that were on a grade school level to my babies. Sure they moved around and at times did not sit still one moment. But they heard my voice telling a story and they saw me handling a book properly. From the opening of the book,and the turning of the pages,babies need to see you reading.

Watch Your little one's early literacy

1. When you read be dramatic and very engaging, bring life to the book.

2. Make a habit of reading often, Children feel safe when they have a constant routine. They look forward to hearing a story when they know it will come everyday at a certain time.

3. Sometimes put away all the toys and just put age appropiate books out in the play area. sit near the baby and just help them turn pages. I was so happy to see my 10 month old draging his board book about animals. He wobbled over to where I was, sat down and open the book carefully turning the pages and pointing to the animals.

4. If you have older children that you read to, allow the baby to be around so that they can observe how their siblings react to reading. Children learn a lot from one another.

5. Use finger puppets to help engage the baby in the story, or stuff animals.

What type of books should you read?

There are always several children books for both babies and older children. Here are a few tips to help you buy appropiate books and where to find them inexpensive.

1. Always look for educational books that will foster a learning goal. A simple book about ABC with an animal for each letter is exposing your little one to letters and names of animals.Numbers, shapes, and color books are also great first choice books for your baby. It is okay to get characters from TV shows books, but I would caution parents to not get their baby to use to TV viewing but to rather foster great reading and play in your little one's life.

2. Picture books are great books to look for in book stores, second hand stores, and online. Look for great children authors that have been awarded for their outstanding work, like Eric Carle. Find books that will be colorful and interesting. Buy felt at a craft store and cut out figures to match the story to interact with your baby or toddler as you read and talk about the pictures.

3. Make sure the model how a book is to be read from front to back and from left to right.

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