Babies and toddlers love books although they cannot actually read them. They enjoy tearing the pages, slapping books with their palms, drooling on them, turning over their pages, exclaiming over them, or using them as teethers. And this is exactly how the love of books, reading, and learning begins. So introduce books to your child right from age zero.
Keep the following points in mind while choosing a book for children aged 0 – 3:
- Young children love books with brilliantly colored pictures of objects they are familiar with.
- Young children are not readers, but they are great listeners and budding storytellers.
- If you read rhymes and simple words and short sentences loudly, they will respond with great enthusiasm.
- Word free books that are loaded with pictures of familiar objects serve as a great source of mental and visual stimulation for babies and toddlers.
- Books with plenty of brilliantly colored pictures encourage young children to create and tell their own tales.
- Cloth books and board books are excellent for young children as they are created to withstand rough treatment and cannot be destroyed.
- Gift your child an alphabet book and he will soon learn to recognize the letters.
- Introduce your 2 – 3 year old to books that deal with simple tasks such as brushing teeth, washing hands, and other daily activities. You child will soon express interest in doing these things on her own.
Now here are three tips that will make reading with your little one a real pleasure:
- Let your child talk about the book and tell his own stories.
Reading to your child encourages him to tell his own stories and improves his communication skills. He will start using the pictures and words in the book to weave his own tales. This is when you will have to simply stop reading and just listen to his stories. Encourage him by asking questions and responding dramatically. Discuss the pictures, situations, and characters in the book with your toddler. He will develop not only storytelling skills, but also the love of reading on his own, without you having to force it on him.
- Read the same story to your child over and over again.
You may feel bored reading the same story over and over again, but your toddler won’t feel bored listening to you. In fact, she wants to hear the same story a hundred times more. Whenever you re-read a story to her, she will discover something new and exciting. Soon, you will be pleasantly surprised to notice that she has memorized words, phrases, sentences, and rhymes and has started reading along with you.
- Read to your child even if she is not paying attention.
You may feel that your toddler isn’t interested, but this just isn’t true. Your toddler is actually enjoying the sound of your voice as she does something else. Let her play with her favorite toy or experiment with crayons and sheets of paper while you read to her. Soon, she will start peeping into the book and ask questions about it.
By reading to your 0 – 3 year old child, you will:
ü Boost her confidence
ü Encourage him to tell his own stories and thus improve his communication skills
ü Familiarize her with the alphabet
ü Give her a vocabulary of new words
ü Bond with him in a very special way