Have you ever wondered how so many mothers vouch for reading out to their children, even the ones who are as young as 6 months old? Have you also wished that you were a keen reader growing up, so that you could have introduced book reading to your little one?
Well, if you answered ‘Yes’, then we have some great news for you!
I wasn’t a reader myself, but when I started my baby’s first book, it was a life changing experience. Choosing my first book wasn’t easy - as I seemed to have no clue of what to buy and how to read it out to my child. But now when I do, I have some quick tips that will help you choose your baby’s first book with no problems at all!
Also read - Quick Reading guide for infants and toddlers
1. How do little children read? When do I start?
They don’t! We read to them. Children as young as six months old love to see large, colourful pictures and listening to parents read books to them. It’s a great way to spend time with your little one.
2. What book should I pick, I’m clueless!
Less than 1 year: Books with large images work wonders. Pick up anything with a simple story line which has less words, more pictures.
1 year and above: “First words” book that have large and bright-coloured pictures are perfect for kids in this age group. Pick up books which cover a large spectrum of words including animals, body parts, numbers, shapes, foods and everyday things. They will soon learn to identify objects and associate images with real life objects while enjoying learning! It is also a great idea to introduce touch & feel books to help them experience and recognize textures.
2.5 years to 5 years: You can select books that are concept-based as per your child’s age. 2-3 year olds can learn shapes, colours, alphabets and numbers through the books that are read to them. 3-5 years can even learn counting, phonics, addition and subtraction, stories and basic words.
It is also a good time to introduce other books such as sound books, puzzle books, flap books, light books, magnet books and so on, making reading books an addictive activity! This age group is also appropriate to start off telling bedtime stories.
3. I bought a book but my child won’t show any interest.
Books for children are like toys – they may not find them as interesting in the first go. Reading them interactively (by emoting, or changing voices) may draw their attention and make the experience interesting for them. Try to help them develop this as an interest when they are in a playful mood.
Point to each object and pronounce its name. Be patient! The child may not be able to repeat it, but will learn it soon enough. They enjoy looking at the pictures and often point at pictures with difficult names as they love the sound of such words.
It is highly recommended that you have a mini library of books for your child as it will prevent boredom and also help the child develop a lot of skills!
4. I have a book and baby loves them, but s/he tears them!
You can choose to buy pre-cared books of good quality which won’t indent your pocket as much. Kids do take a while to stop tearing the books, even when they really love them. Be patient!
So get over your own inhibitions and buy your first baby book! Once you take a look at the options (which often have the age range mentioned) it won’t be as difficult or confusing as it seems. Try out a few and see what works best for you. Once you begin to read to your child, I can guarantee that you will chose reading over all other activities that involve some baby-bonding time!
Happy Reading, mums!
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler Learning
If you are reading this article on our website and have an Android phone, please download our APP here for a more personalised experience based on your lifestage.