Monday, 4 May 2015

Books and babies

It's never too soon to start sharing books with your baby and sharing stories.  babies will quickly discover that looking at books can be a fun, cuddle time.  Sharing books with babies, toddlers and young children helps them to develop a love of books. 

Children who have lots of opportunities to handle books and listen to stories are likely to become more confident readers.  When babies are allowed to handle books, learn to turn pages and listen to the rhythm of the language of stories, books can become familiar friends.

Watch your babies reaction as you read a story and share a book with them.  Even small babies have ways of making their feelings known.  If you start to read books to your baby when they are very tiny, they will begin to associate books with a happy, relaxed time.  Before long they will respond by:
  • waving their arms and kicking their legs
  • smiling
  • staring at the pictures
  • watching the person holding them developing eye contact
  • babbling and squealing
  • pointing
  • reaching for the book
Remember though - there will still be times when your baby might not want a book.  They may be tired or hungry and begin to squirm and push the book away, try again another time.

Give your baby the chance to explore books

Babies need the chance to explore books in the same way as they explore the rest of the world, by looking, listening, handling them and even putting them in their mouths.  They will want to know what books taste like.  This is normal, board and material books come in handy for this.   Very soon babies will want to reach and grab books.  This will show that they are interested and want to find out more.

How you can help babies develop a love of books:

  • Have appropriate books around that your baby can reach
  • Turn off the television so that your baby is not distracted
  • Let your baby handle books
  • Be aware of your babies reactions
  • Join the library to loan a variety of different books - it's FREE!
  • Look at different kinds of books - lift the flap, material, pop up, black and white books for babies, board books, songs books
  • make sharing books with your baby a special time.  Books don't have to be shared just at bedtime
  • Let your baby see you reading.  Even if it's a magazine! This is positive role modelling.
Most of all....have fun with books and stories : )

Singing with babies

Babies can benefit from hearing songs and rhymes and all kinds of music right from the very beginning, even before they are born.   Children who know many songs and rhymes when they start school are more likely to read and write easier and do well generally in their learning. 

Learning about sounds:
When babies get to know lots of songs and rhymes, they begin to connect different sounds and rhythms and pace with different things.  Babies get better and better at knowing one sound from another and one voice from another.

Even before they are born babies feel the rhythm of people's movements around them as well as when they are rocked, handled or carried close to someone's body.  When parents sing rhymes and songs, the familiar movements and sounds are very satisfying.  When babies join in too with their babbling, looks and gestures, they are learning the rhythmic 'give and take' of listening and talking.

Songs, rhymes and music can bring pleasure, fun and security to young children.  When these things are part of children's lives from the very beginning, children are more likely to:
  • Feel good about themselves
  • Listen well and respond expressively
  • Be able to distinguish between sounds
  • Know many songs and rhymes
All these things are likely to help children become good learners.

Games, songs and rhymes:
Playing clapping games and peepo games together helps babies to know that what they do is enjoyed by other people.
These games can introduce lots of different sensations and encourage your baby to respond.
Singing or saying favourite songs and rhymes with your baby and encouraging them to make sounds and gestures of their own helps them with their listening and talking skills.

These experiences in the first days, months and years can have a strong impact on the development of a baby's brain.

For a really good list of songs and rhymes to use with your little one, click on the link below.

Remember songs and rhymes are FREE!  If you don't feel confident singing to your baby, they don't judge our skills they just love us to play and have fun : )

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