May 14, 2015

Reading With Your Baby

Posted in: Baby


I love books!

Every year in my classroom I see the same thing over and over again. Students who have been read to from an early age thrive academically.

Grammar, punctuation, the meaning of words, how to structure a sentence, how to communicate, morals, how the world works and a million other things can be learned from a good book.

There are so many benefits of reading to your baby. By reading to your baby it teaches them about communication. It teaches them about concepts such as numbers, letters, colours and shapes. It builds their listening, memory and vocabulary skills. And it gives babies information about the world they live in.

Research says that by the time your baby is 1, they will have learned all the sounds they need to speak. Also, children who have been frequently read to know more words and are better readers when they reach primary school.

Thomas is read to twice a day. Once in the morning with me and then again with his papa before his bath time.

The other day, I told Andrew that Thomas is loving Maisy’s Twinkly Crinkly Fun Book and that he should read it to him. He did and when it was over he yelled down the stairs, ‘What a dumb book, that was over in 5 seconds!’

I had to laugh because when you do read it, yes, it is over in 5 seconds but you need to do more than just read the words, you need to interact with the book.

So I showed Andrew how to do it and I thought someone else may be interested in knowing how to do more than just read the words in a children’s book.

reading9^ Let’s take Thomas’ favourite book at the moment which Toby is so enthusiastically demonstrating.

reading7 ^ First I read the whole book without interrupting, just as the author intended it to be read.

reading10^ Once I have read it we start again and I read the first page to Thomas. I then stop and start talking about the pictures and say things like:

– “Look Thomas, Maisy is wearing a red jumper and green and white stripy shorts. Let’s count the stripes (point and count).”

– “Maisy has 6 whiskers. Can I have your finger Thomas? Let’s point to the 6 whiskers and count. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.”

– “Do you think Maisy is talking to the zebra and saying, Clip – Clop. One soft and stripy zebra?”

– “Look at the way the number 1 can be represented. In letters and digits. Give me your finger, I’ll help you point to the word 1 and the digit 1.”

-“Let’s count how many stripes the zebra has.”

– “Touch the zebra’s body, can you feel the different textures? This part is hard and this part feels soft.”

reading8^ With the next page you do the same. Read the text first and then talk about the pictures.

– “How many feet are there altogether. Let’s count. 1, 2, 3, 4”

– “What kind of noises would you hear if you jumped into a puddle? Splish, splash.”

– “Look, Maisy and the squirrel have the same kind of ears. They are the same shape.”

– “They both have a tail but they are different. Maisy’s is pink and skinny and the squirrel has a wide and bushy tail.”

reading11^ You get the idea.

Now, obviously your baby is not going to say anything back nor will they understand what you are banging on about but that’s beside the point. The point of all of this is, the words you read aren’t necessarily words that you would say during the day. However, thanks to books they open up a whole new world of vocabulary. And your baby hearing a variety of sounds helps them to establish rich words in their brain.

When you read and talk about the pictures to babies at this age, they hear you using many different emotions and expressive sounds, they hear intonation in your voice and this helps the growth of social and emotional development. Also, me getting Thomas to look, point, touch and answer my questions helps with his thinking skills.

reading5^ And something else reading provides, your baby’s two favourtie things, your voice and being close to you.

Books, they are the best.