8 Great tips for reading with your baby

By admin
04 July 2014

Why bother to read with a baby who can’t even talk yet? The answer is simple: it’s a wonderful way to spend time together, get to know each other and develop your baby’s language skills. Here are eight great tips for reading with your baby from the Nal’ibali National Reading-for-Enjoyment campaign.

  1. First books that have simple illustrations or pictures of babies’ faces usually work well for very young babies.
  2. Repetition and routine makes young babies feel secure so you can read the same book over and over again in exactly the same place each day without boring your baby. You can also say different things (and in different languages) to what’s written on the page as long as you and your baby are enjoying yourselves.
  3. Until your baby can sit by themself, it’s easiest to put them on your lap with their back against you and to hold the book in front of them.
  4. From about six months of age, most babies also enjoy books that have songs and rhymes. Read the words but also talk about what is in the pictures and name some of the objects and colours. Don’t forget to make lots of interesting sounds too – for example, “moo” when you look at a picture of a cow.
  5. Board and cloth books work best when you want to allow your baby to handle books on their own such as during nappy changes or when they’re in their pram. These books can be chewed, pulled and patted without breaking.
  6. Older babies enjoy books with flaps, pop-ups and buttons that you press to make sounds. They also begin to get more involved with what’s going on in the book such as pointing to things on the page or trying to turn the page.
  7. Between one and three years, children’s ability to understand and use language increases dramatically. Although they continue to enjoy the books from their first year, they often like stories about other children, animals and familiar everyday experiences.
  8. Continuing to set aside special times each day to read with your child will help him or her to learn reading is a pleasurable activity.

These tips were provided courtesy of the Nal’ibali National Reading-for-Enjoyment campaign – aimed at sparking children’s potential through reading and storytelling. For more information, reading tips and story ideas to share with your children or reading clubs, go to  http://nalibali.org/ or find Nal’ibali on Facebook or Twitter.

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