We have heard it time and time again – reading to babies is essential in developing vocabulary and enhancing literacy development. Guess what? It is true!
But what does that experience look like? Here are some suggestions for reading experiences with babies.
First of all, just because a book is published in a board book format does not mean the text is developmentally appropriate. It is fine for the baby holding, mouthing, and experiencing, but if you are going for the reading experience, I suggest a simple picture per page with a plain background and minimal text (one sentence per page at most). Books to consider:
When reading with babies, tap on the page to direct their eyes to the picture before you read the text. You might tap on the page again after reading it.
Always follow baby’s cues. If he/she keep turning to a particular page, keep reading that page then talk about it. “What do you see?” or “Why is the baby happy?”
Really and truly, the best thing you can do to promote literacy development is ensure your baby continually hears language (from an actual person, not an electronic device) and create nurturing, positive experiences with books!