My name is Mrs. D. and I am an author of children's books. Currently, I’m juggling many projects including several new books. I love to write. I love this beautiful language. I write because I have something to share. I write because maybe someday, someone in this world may need my experience. I write for one simple reason. I love how it makes me feel: free.
Reading Books to your baby can be a great way to bond and to lay the building blocks for their intellectual development and language skills. In addition, reading to your baby can lead to a love of reading that can last a lifetime and show that reading is a skill worth learning. So get started today and give your child this fantastic gift by following some of these great tips.
When your baby is a newborn (0 to 6 months), the sound of your voice soothes and comforts them so sharing stories or singing lullabies is a great way to bond with your child. Whether you are feeding, changing or bathing your baby, take advantage of the time you have with them to sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby" or "Hush, Little Baby".
Babies that are in the 6 month to 1 year range benefit greatly from you reading to them on a daily basis. They learn how much you like reading and enjoy your warm lap and rhythmic sound of your voice. Before you begin reading, make sure that they can see the book clearly. Involve them in the story by making sounds and faces, substituting their name for one of the characters and having them participate by pointing to pictures along with you. Many of the board books and other books offer interactive reading experience for the child to keep them interested. Baby Einstein has fabulous board books that are durable and hold up well to baby chewing so let your baby play with the books even when you aren't reading to them. Finally, don't get discouraged if you can only hold baby's attention for a few minutes. That often happens at this age.
By the time the child is a toddler, they often have good reading habits if you started a ritual with them early. If not, no time like the present to get your child interested in books. Reading a book to your child at bedtime (or another designated time during the day) helps establish a routine and they can look forward to that time of day. Books are a great way to introduce colors, shapes, letters and so forth in a fun way. Also, children at this age like to pick their own books for reading time so let them take control over selecting the book and turning the pages. They will often choose the same book over and over again which can be tiring for you, but they will begin to remember words and recognize what will happen next which is a great memory building exercise. Just remember that if the child is antsy or doesn't want to read, don't force them. Just try again later when they are well-rested and in a good mood. The last thing you want to create is a negative reading experience for your child.
Preschoolers and up. As your child gets older and their reading skills improve, take turns reading books to each other. Ask your child open-ended questions to encourage them to think about what they are reading and let their imagination go to work. This age range is a great time to introduce books that have themes and lessons like being a good friend or not talking to strangers. If your child and/or your family are going through a difficult situation like the death of a family member or serious illness like cancer, books can help them understand and get through the difficult time. Continue having a set reading routine with them and watch your children bloom into fantastic readers.