Children who are read to have better success in school. That is generally accepted fact. So, when do you begin reading to a child? Well, try this: Find a little baby. Make yourself comfortable on the sofa, prop up your legs, then prop the little baby on your legs. Then read a good beginning reading book to the baby. One of the rhyming story books is great, full of colorful and interesting illustrations. Read a page of the story, then show Baby the pictures. Talk about the pictures with Baby. Then read the next page. Continue as long as you have Baby's attention.

This activity is teaching Baby the sounds of words. Reading is book is expanding Baby's world of ideas and language. Looking at the pictures and talking about them with Baby is teaching turn-taking skills. The pictures help develop Baby's imagination. And seeing and touching the book and its pages, Baby begins learning about the fun of words and books.

When you are sure you have Baby's attention for books, read Baby a cloth storybook. Follow the same procedures. Then, give Baby the book to take with her/him wherever he/she goes. Later, Baby will enjoy being given little board baby books to read.

When Baby gets older, and would rather crawl around and explore than be held and read to, make sure that Baby's books are easy to find during exploration. Teach Baby that books are not balls, and they are not made for throwing. Otherwise, explore them. This may be a time when Baby can see you read something while Baby plays. Then, when Baby gets tired from crawling, standing, running, exploring, and throwing balls, pick up Baby, hold Baby closely in your lap, and once again read to Baby. You are helping Baby learn to Love Reading.


Anita Landoll

Anita Landoll

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