Lots of parents wonder exactly when they should start teaching their child to read. Reading can be very beneficial to children as you probably already know. Did you know that it can even help to calm a cranky baby? Well it works for my little ones, so I am sure that it would work for yours. It is a proven fact that babies whose parents read to them demonstrated better verbal and communication skills at an earlier age than those whose parents didn’t. Below is a list of several tips and suggestions on how to introduce reading to your little one.
1. Offer a wide variety of books- babies usually prefer books with bright colors, and pictures. It is also good if you use a book that has textured pages that they can touch and feel.
2. Try using a Rhyming book- Books with rhymes help babies learn to communicate. They build their vocabulary by hearing words repeated constantly.
3. Show them how much fun reading can be- If you are excited about reading then your child will be too.
4. Only read to your child for short intervals- Trying to make a young child sit and look at a book for a long period of time is almost impossible so don’t even try. Keep your reading time down to about 15 min or less. Remember children have very short attention spans.
5. Let your baby explore- If your little one wants to hold the book by themselves, and play with the pages, let them. Children learn through exploration.
6. Try reading at bedtime- Bedtime is the best time to cuddle and read to your baby. Usually they are tired and more relaxed. By doing this every night your child will begin to look forward to this routine as they get older.
These are just a few suggestions that have worked for me in the past. As your child grows you will want to get books that will further their language development. Toddlers love rhymes, as they develop greater thinking ability and become more independent they will begin to choose for themselves which books they like and don’t like. When your child begins talking they will have a ton of questions during story time. It is very important that you allow them to ask questions, and you should ask those questions as well.
For example you could say what do you think is going to happen next? And allow your child to answer. Even before your little one can talk, you can explain what the pictures are and what sounds are made. Keep in mind also that reading the same book over and over again is a good thing. Your child will love to be able to predict what will happen next. Of course repetition can tend to drive many parents crazy after a while, but in the end it will be worth the effort.
As your child grows older you will no longer have to go to them to read they will come to you. By getting your child excited about reading at an early age you will be giving them a head start. If you are not sure what book your little one would respond to best, why not go to the public library, and let your baby explore some of the books their. I found a great selection at my library for babies. Then when you see the books that your baby really seems to like, you can go and purchase those for them. What I did was create a little library for my kids. Each time I found a book they liked, I would just add it to the collection. Take the opportunity to bond with your child. By doing this you will help boost their attention span and help their language skills to progress.