We all know that reading to children is an important part of their learning and growth, but many don’t know how important reading to an infant can be. Parents might assume that they should wait to start reading until their child is older , but the sooner you start the better! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents read to their child beginning in infancy. Some studies even suggest that you should start reading to your child while they are still in the womb.
Benefits of reading to your baby include:
- Build vocabulary skills
- Encourages listening
- Develops memory skills
- Strengthens the bond between child and parent
- Develops attention span
- Teaches the concepts of shapes, colors, and letters in an exciting way
I know that some parents find it awkward to read to their child because they do not fully understand what you are saying. Or they may become frustrated when a baby doesn’t pay attention for an entire book. Thats why I am sharing with you a few of my tips for reading to your baby
One of Clara’s favorite books is Llama Llama Red Pajama. I must read it 5 times a day every day!
1. Don’t worry about trying to finish a book. If your child isn’t enjoying the moment, or would prefer to hold and chew on the book, that’s okay. They are still learning as they explore the book themselves. It’s important to keep reading an enjoyable moment, and often this means stopping before finishing a book.
2. Do more than just “read” the pages . Point out pictures and feel free to add more to the story and make it up as you go. I often point out colors or count the objects on the page. “Look at the pretty purple flower” or “let’s count how many balls there are.”
3. Don’t be scared to read the same story over and over again. Babies love and learn from repetition! If you find that your baby especially loves a certain story, great! The whole point is to make them love reading!
4. Choose books that are exciting for your child. Bright colors and pictures are fascinating, while board and fabric books are great when little one wants to grab at everything.
5. Point at words as you read them. This helps your child to understand that symbols and words have meaning connected to them.
6. Ask lots of questions. For example if you are reading a book about animals ask “what sound does the cow make?” You can go ahead and tell baby the answer now, but eventually little one will be able to answer for himself.
7. Sing the story, make funny noises, even rap the story. Anything that shows your child that reading is fun!
Start creating the habit of reading now regardless of how young your child is. Keep the time fun and you’ll instill a love for reading in your child for a lifetime!