Friday, February 20, 2015
Preparing My Baby to Love Learning
I am a big proponent of parents reading with their children from a very young age! Some of my favorite early childhood memories are of snuggling up with my Mom listening to her read to me. I have always loved books, reading, writing, and learning; and I attribute a big part of that to the environment in which I was raised.
Both of my babies LOVE books, and snuggling up to read with them is one of my absolute favorite things. Right now my youngest is 9 1/2 months old, and he already has several books that are definitely his favorites!
Babies need to have books read to them! They are like thirsty little sponges soaking up words and language even before they are able to speak. Looking at pictures, hearing Mommy or Daddy's voice saying the words, pointing, turning pages, even chewing on the book are all wonderful first steps on your baby's journey into the world of books, learning, and literacy!
The biggest thing you can do to prepare your baby for a life of learning is to read to them!!!
Here are some tips and thoughts for reading with your baby, and then I will share 3 of Little Brother's current favorites!
* Provide your baby with lots of sturdy board books and put them in easy reach. These books are going to get loved and chewed, so make sure they can handle it! Encourage Baby to explore books both with you and on his own.
* Try to set aside a special storytime each day as part of baby's normal routine. Before naptime and bedtime are great times since reading may helo calm Baby for sleep, but anytime that seems to work for you will be fine!
* There are lots of great children's books, Bible stories, poetry books, etc. out there. Just take your pick! Baby just needs to hear those words being used. He or she may not be so much interested in the storylines at this point, and simple books with lots of repitition and big clear pictures are great.
* I also include Little Brother as much as possible even when I am reading chapter books or Scriptures to Big Brother. His little ears and brain are taking it all in even though he may not yet comprehend the stories just yet. What you read to your baby is up to you; just read to them!!
* Look for ways to engage your baby. Take your time if Baby seems interested and point out familiar things in the pictures. Label everything verbally for your baby, and this is also a good time to teach ASL signs. Find ways to play games or act out what you are reading about with your baby.
* Let your baby see you reading. Make reading and learning natural parts of your own life. Your baby will want to imitate and follow the examples you set.
As promised, here are Little Brother's current Top 3 Favorite Books!
Goodnight Moon by Magaret Wise Brown (I still have this one completely memorized from reading it SO many times to Big Brother when he was this age! This simple rhyming book is very soothing. It is definitely a classic and a must-read!)
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? By Dr. Seuss (This is a fun rhyming book about all kinds of silly noises! This book encourages Baby to play and experiment with making all different kinds of sounds from "moo's" to whispers! Love it!)
My First Read and Learn Bible (This colorful board book gently introduces Baby to God and many beloved Bible stories and people. There are just a few simple sentences on each page, so it is not too much for short attention spans! Definitely a favorite!)
What are some ways you prepare your baby's for a lifelong love of learning? What are some of your little ones' favorite books? Feel free to share!!
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