Books are a fantastic way to stimulate learning and language development with your baby or toddler. Books provide a way to introduce new vocabulary, increase attention spans, inspire their imaginations, and the best part – reading books with your child is a great bonding experience.
Here are some general tips to consider when reading with your baby or toddler:
Match your child’s language level-Simplify or shorten sentences to match what your child can understand and/or produce.
- Vary your intonation
- Use facial expressions and gestures
- Use sound effects (i.e. animal noises, “whee!” “whoosh!”)
- Stress key words
Show them what you’re talking about by bringing their attention to the page-Point to pictures.
Choose books with fun pictures, animals, numbers, letters, etc.
- Open flaps, put fingers through holes, press buttons
- Point to the printed word
- Demonstrate verbs with actions or gestures
Slow it down.
- Read at a natural rate
- Encourage turn-taking – give your child a chance to point, say a word, open the flap, or turn the page
Establish joint attention.
- Pick books with your child’s interests (i.e. favorite characters, things to do)
- When your child makes sounds or points, imitate or join in
- Look at the book and look towards your child when reading to show you’re interested in both the book and them!
Reading is a great time to encourage learning and language development, but also a fantastic time to bond with your child. Remember, make it fun!
Here is a list of books that are some of my personal favorites:
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear – Eric Carle
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
- Go Away, Big Green Monster – Ed Emberley
- Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
- Hippos Go Berserk! – Sandra Boynton
- Cars and Trucks and Things That Go – Richard Scarry
- Peek-a-Who? – Nina Laden
- My First Word Book – Angel Wilkes
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems, or any Mo Willems books, they’re very silly!