From the desk of Early Childhood Education Department Head, Shani Snell:
They are so cute and so sweet and they smell so good MOST of the time but babies are also wonderful little sponges who are soaking up sights and sounds in their world to form the basis for their early literacy. Reading to your infant can be a wonderful bonding experience, help introduce them to visuals and words, and shows them that reading can be fun.
Here are a few tips for reading to your infant:
- Anytime can be reading time! Infants are very adaptable. The main thing is to choose a time when the infant is in a good mood and relaxed. This may vary daily and that’s ok. Reading a book in the middle of the night? Sure! Why not?
- Choose books with fewer words/more pictures. Read the words on the page but then talk about what’s on the page. Point to the words or pictures as you narrate the page. They will absorb your words and love looking at the pictures while making important brain connections.
- Choose books that are infant friendly. Babies like to touch and chew. Board books are wonderful for this age group, however, there are also amazing infant books made from cloth, plastic, or even wood. High contrast books work better for newborns to 6 months as their eye sight is still developing.
- Be patient and flexible. Infants may want to stay on one page of the book because they love the pictures or colors. They may also want to chew on a particular page or simply manipulate the pages/book. You may not finish the book page by page and that’s ok too.
- Keep it short and sweet. Your child’s attention span will increase with age. By the end of the first year, they may be able to make it through a book with a short storyline.
Help your child get a jump start on life and literacy by reading to them daily. It’s never too young to start!
Are you interested in working with children? Visit Community Care College to learn more about our Early Childhood Education program.