It’s hard to imagine that the baby who isn’t even speaking will one day be reading independently. But it will happen – and sooner than you think! One day your child will be listening in awe as you read her favorite story; and the next, she will be reciting the words from memory and pretending to read on her own. When this happens the first time, you will think it is magic.
And, that magic starts with you.
Some people struggle to understand why it is important to read to babies since babies don’t speak. This is actually one of the main reasons why you should read to your baby. Every time you read aloud to your baby, you are teaching early literacy skills.
Think we are saying that just because we are in the book business? Wrong.
Check out this statement from The American Academy of Pediatrics: “In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a policy statement recommending parent-child home reading beginning at birth and continuing at least through kindergarten. Behavioral evidence has shown that children who are read to, especially before school entry, experience stronger parent-child relationships and learn valuable language and literacy skills.”
As Marilyn Jager Adams wrote, “Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” Reading to your baby is the best way to start developing those early literacy skills, such as understanding how books work.
Plus, reading to babies has shown to have these additional benefits:
• Strengthening bonds between parent and child
• Developing baby’s vocabulary
• Exposing baby to language
• Soothing baby (which is why many parents include reading as part of their bedtime routine)
When babies are exposed to books, it means they are exposed to language. This helps children avoid the “Word Gap.” As KinderCare explains, “The term ‘Word Gap’ was first coined in 1995 when research found that children exposed to fewer words are at risk for poor early literacy skills, which can have an impact on future academic, social and economic success.”
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”- Emilie Buchwald
Now that we’ve covered all the whys, let’s talk about the fun stuff: how to read to your baby. Reading to your baby should be fun – not awkward!
Use these suggestions to make the most of storytime.
• Sit your baby on your lap for storytime. This is a great way to cuddle and bond. It also helps your baby focus more easily.
• As you read, point to pictures and illustrations. Use words to point out what the illustration is showing.
• Ask questions as you read. Of course, your baby will not respond, but you are reinforcing early literacy skills and teaching your little one how to ask and respond.
• Talk about the book as you read. Many board books only have a few words on each page. Don’t feel like you have to only read the words on the page.
• Use expression as you read aloud.
• Parent tip – choose books that you love reading because you will (and should) read the same books over and over again.
Finally, encourage your baby to play and interact with books. Pint Size Board Books have been made with babies in mind. Our books are built to withstand baby chewing, bending, stacking, and tossing. If babies are allowed to play with books, they will grow up believing books are fun.
Pint Size Productions is the perfect place to start building your baby’s library. Our books are designed to be fun and personal. Our custom board books allow you to create books just for your little one. For example, if your baby loves your family’s four-legged friend, you can personalize the My Pet is the BEST Board Book. Or, if your little one is crazy for dinosaurs, we offer a dinosaur themed board book. We have templates for comic books, monsters, family, ABC’s, and more. If you have a special idea in mind, you can even create a custom board book of your own!
Plus, Pint Size Productions offers personalization for two of the most popular and well-loved board books by Sandra Boynton. Your baby will love the bright animal illustrations and the silly sing-song lines in the story. Add in a photo of your baby and his or her name, and these books will become your baby’s favorite.
If you are ready to begin, hop over to our Pint Size Board Book Library!