Literacy tips for babies: teaching your baby to love reading

Literacy tips for babies: teaching your baby to love reading

Babyhood is when our kids start to acquire a love of stories and interest for words. Discover some easy ways to nurture the joy of reading with your baby!

The road to reading starts in infancy,when children acquire a love of words, an excitement about storytelling, and the wonder of sharing life's experience with loved ones using words. Familymembers can nurture the joy of reading through activities that build these skills and interests.

Here are some tips for making reading a central part of your child's life:

  • Talk to your baby. Use your face and voice to tell her all about the world and herself. Pick a time when she is quiet and alert, and just start talking. She knows the sound and rhythm of your voice, having listened to it before birth. Now help her connect those sounds to interaction with the world.
  • Echo what your baby says. Coo back to her when she makes those delicious little sounds. She's learning that sounds can make the world react, and that words have power.
  • Become a news commentator. Narrate your day to your baby, what you are doing with her, and even what you're reading in her presence. You're making connections between words and events; you're helping her learn the elements of a story.
  • Label things. As you care for your baby, make a point of saying her name and naming her body parts, her clothes, and her gear. Although the connections will take weeks to months, you're building the basics of language and literacy.
  • Look at picture books together. Beginning when your baby is about six months, introduce books as fun and exciting things. Accept your child's short attention span; each brief interaction is fostering a love of books.
  • Look, point, then name. Young infants and toddlers start out their literary lives by first learning to turn the pages, then looking at the pictures generally, then looking at pictures as the images are named, then pointing at the named pictures, and finally naming the pictures themselves.
  • Pack a book. Tuck a storybook or two in the diaper bag and in the car for the older infant and toddler. The habit of filling in life's spaces with books and always having them handy helps a child see them as a regular part of life.
  • Learn rhymes and songs. Children experiment with the sounds of language with rhyme, which builds their interest in words and sounds. Rhymes with gestures help to link actions with the action words. Poetry for children also builds this awareness and love of language.
  • Give books. Give every child you know a book for every occasion, and then look at it together. Keep that home library in a special but accessible place.
  • Tell bedtime stories. Make stories, both those read aloud and the ones you tell, part of the bedtime ritual from infancy on. Never take away the bedtime story as a punishment; it should be kept sacred.

Try not to let the sun set on a book-free day. Make books part of every day with your child. Don't let a day go by without reading a book, a poem, or astory.

Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

Reading to my boys

8/29/2015

I have always enjoyed reading with my boys but it's funny to see the differences. My first was a book worm and by the he could walk he would have me read three books every night. I had to put a cap because then he would never stop. My second one I tried to do the same but he would rather bit the pages and I could only get through one. I kept at it though and now that he can sit for. A bit longer he always loves a good bedtime story.

YAY I'M EXCITED!

8/29/2015

ITS PRETTY COOL TO REMEMBER HOW MUCH YOU BABIES CAN LEARN I WILL TAKE THESE TIPS AND USE THEM THANKS

Reading

raynakokich 8/28/2015

Thanks for the tips!

helpful

8/28/2015

thanks i was wondering what age i should start books at

Importance of educatiom

Tanya 8/27/2015

We are the base for our children's learning and education.

Daddy's Little One: The Dad and Baby Bond

A dad shares his experience of falling in love with his baby, and all the ways their bond was strengthened. Read on to pick up some great tips on baby bonding.

Read more

By

Armin Brott

Baby talk: making sense of it all

Even before her first word, your baby will communicate with grunts, gestures and cries. Read on to find out what it all means.

Read more

Temper tantrums: Dealing with baby tantrums

Is 'no' a favorite word in your house these days? Our toddlers tend to test the limits not only by saying no constantly, but by running away, or even throwing things.

Read more