Saturday, January 24, 2009

Reading and the Youngest of Kids

Literacy Development for Infants-- The following recommendations come from the Utah Department of Health (as well as child development experts everywhere):
  • Have frequent one-on-one conversations with your baby.
  • Talk to your baby during necessary routines like diaper changes, baths, etc.
  • Listen to your baby's sounds and repeat the sounds back to them.
  • Read board, cloth or vinyl books you baby cold help hold.
  • Point to pictures and name familiar objects while you look at books.
  • Sing often to your baby.
  • Say nursery rhymes to spark your baby's awareness of language and sounds.

Why Read to An Infant?

  • It builds a positive association with books. People (even babies) are hedonistic we like activities that bring us pleasure. Cuddling with a loved adult, listening to their voice is something babies love... and if they associate that time with books they will learn to love reading.
  • Baby's learn MANY new vocabulary words from books. The typical children's story book has more unique vocabulary words than a conversation among PhDs. (source: Dr. Robert Titzer) Books that have familiar objects that you can point to and name are really great for young babies.

Helpful Hints for Reading to Infant?

  • Choose a time when they are happy and relaxed. Not right before a feeding when they may be getting cranky.
  • Follow their cues. If they are done before the book is over that is fine.
  • It's okay to read the same story over and over. Repetition is SO good for babies!
  • Look for books with black and white and bright colors for babies. They also enjoy textures.
  • Look for books few words/page.
  • Look for books with lots of repeated words or phrases.

So cuddle up with that little one and read!!

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