As a parent, what qualities do we like to see in our children? Well, most of the parent’s answer will be Intelligence, confidence and success with good education as well. All these qualities can be achieved if we develop book reading habit in ourselves first and then in our babies. Books are one of the best learning tool and an integral part of baby and toddler leaning activities. Books play an important role in boosting your child’s vocabulary, knowledge and learning potential and in this article I have shared about how we can make learning fun for our little ones.
If you are thinking that your baby or toddler is too young to read or understand books then believe me, kids are never too young to learn from books. Though they won’t understand what is written inside but their brain development will boost many fold just by looking and differentiating different colours, pictures and everything they see, and step by step they will start learning words, animals, plants and all sort of knowledge with a good boost in vocabulary, speaking, imagination and speaking power with confidence.
If you read books regularly to your babies and toddlers, then best books to start with are board books with pictures, colours and shapes, letters and numbers, colourful books of lullabies, stories and sensory books with real life feeling textures on each page for your baby to feel. There is no set time to read book to your child, your can read at bed time, anytime during the day while playing, in parks, during travel or even while splashing with water during a bath with special colourful baby bath books.
BENEFITS OF READING LOUD TO YOUR BABY:
Reading loudly with all sort of sounds and expressions to your baby will boost following qualities in him/her:
- Communication skills
- Differentiation of colours, shapes and letters
- Listening skills
- Curiosity and thinking about different things they explore in the book
- Power of reflection on different things
- Talking and socializing
- Sitting calm and concentrate
As you start reading to your babies, you will be amazed by looking at your little that by the time they enter toddler-hood, they start pronouncing words and know most of the information you read to them like colours, alphabets, animals with sounds and countless other things. Hearing especially in an enjoyable and playful way plays an important role in building a rich treasure of words and vocabulary in your baby’s brain.
WHEN & WHERE TO READ:
Well, there is no specific set timing about reading books. You can read books to your child in following ways in different timing of the day rather than just setting one time and reading book formally in a boring way. To encourage our kids to read books, firstly, we need to make learning fun…
Bedtime reading and stories: At bed time, lie with your little one on bed with a warm cuddly blanket on and cuddle your baby. Then read his/her favorite story with full expressions and sounds followed by her favorite lullaby. This will walk your baby and help him/her sleep well as well. Babies do love repetitive and rhyming words, so repeat the words they like. We can also make book reading fun and can enjoy with our little ones by following ways…
- During travel
- During splish splash in a bath with special bath books.
- During play time at any part of the day or set a specific reading time on a sofa, in lunge or in a little reading corner.
- In parks: take any of their favourite book regarding nature, birds and plants, outdoor activities and toys and read and talk to them about nature, outdoor fun and many other things around them.
- Libraries: As we are talking about “When & Where to Read”, Libraries are like “GOLD MINES” or a “TREASURE BOX” full of gold and treasures in the form of books and knowledge. Take your child to a library and register him/her. Go there and read books or you can bring books home as well to read and then return. Libraries in United Kingdom offer baby rhyming sessions, stay and play session and story time for younger children and learning and reading activities for older school going kids as well.
- One of the best way to read is to organize a story-telling or book reading activity at your home and invite your little one’s friends. Ask them to bring their favourite book to share and to listen to their friend’s favourite book also. This activity not only boost their knowledge and vocabulary but also encourage them to listen to other’s interest as well and they will learn to share too as well as socializing.
As a mum of two, I can very easily understand how difficult it is to set a proper reading time during the day when we have loads of jobs to do, from cooking to laundry, from school runs to grocery etc etc., but as we take time to cook, eat, cleaning, bathing and other everyday tasks, we should try our best to give book reading more importance than all these jobs. If you are a working mum, then do bed time story telling and book reading. When you have free time, go to book store and buy your child his/her favourite book. Let them choose themselves as per their interest or go to library. Enjoy this reading time with your babies and toddlers and give them the best start of their life in the form of cuddles, love, knowledge, intelligence and good physical and mental health.