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Monday 30 October 2017

How to Introduce Your Baby and Toddlers to Books

Brianna, © 2017
The first and main tip that I can give when it comes to introducing your little one to books, is to make sure that you have fun. When children are engaged and enjoying themselves, it's easier for them to learn. When there's a positive interaction with books, they're creating positive feelings about reading. This will help motivate them to continue wanting to read and look at books, and other literacy materials as they grow.

Here's some ideas for helping you nurture literacy skills at an early age for your baby or toddler:

Start off with just a few minutes at a time. Young children can only sit for a short period of time, but as they grow, they will be able to sit longer. Let your child decide how much or little time you spend with story-time. You also don't need to read each page... you may find that your child may have a favorite page or picture.

Talk or sing about the pictures. You don't necessarily have to read the words to fully tell a story. You can try reading/describing the pictures in a book, and when they're old enough, ask them to do the same.

Let your child turn the pages. Babies wouldn't be able to turn pages themselves, but an 18 month old baby might try, and a toddler would be able to. It's okay to skip pages, whatever keeps your little one's interest.

Show the Cover of the Book. Look at the cover of the book, and explain what the story is about. If you have a toddler, as her to guess what the story might be about.

Show them the words. As you're reading the book, run your finger along with the words, from left to right.

Make the story come alive. Have fun and create different voices for the characters, as well as use your body to tell the story.

Make it personal. Talk about your own family, pets, and friends when reading about others in the story. Try and relate the book to current situations.

Ask questions about the story and let them ask questions. Use the story to have a back and forth conversation with your child. Talk about similar activities and objects that are in the pictures, or read about in the story.

Let children tell the story. Children as young as three can memorize stuff, and many love being creative through storytelling.

Create books together. Have fun making photo books of family and friends. Cut out pictures from magazines/catalogs to make word books. Create your own colouring book, and have her dictage a story to you and draw pictures to go with the words.

Make books a part of your daily routine

The more that books are worked into your child's life, the more likely they will be seeing reading as a pleasure or gift.

  • At meal times
  • In the car or on the bus
  • At the doctors office
  • At nap time
  • At bedtime
  • At bath time

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