by Jackie Needleman
Reading to Your Child
Babies love to listen to the human voice -- reading, singing and expressive talking are ideal activities. Take your cue from the baby as to how much stimulation to provide.
1. Start out by singing lullabies and folk songs to your baby. When your baby is about six months old, choose books with brightly-colored, simple pictures and lots of rhythm in the text.
2. Select books are made of cardboard or cloth with flaps to lift and holes to peek through.
3. Hold your baby in your lap so she can see the colorful pages of the book. Include books that show pictures and names of familiar objects.
4. As you read with your baby, point out objects in the pictures. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt is a classic touch-and-feel book for babies.
5. Vary the tone of your voice with different characters in the stories, sing nursery rhymes and make funny faces. Do whatever special effects you can to stimulate your baby's interest.
6. As you read to your baby, your child is forming an association between books and what is most loved -- your voice and closeness. Allowing your baby to handle books will help deepen their attachment.
7. When reading to your baby, keep the sessions brief, but read each day and often.
8. Take time to be with your baby. Take walks, playing in the park and simply explore the great outdoors. Talk to your baby naming trees, flowers, bugs, butterflies, dogs, cats, etc. when you see them.
9. As you play with your infant/baby, name the toy you are playing with and tell him/her about it's characteristics such as, the toy's color, shape and size.
10. Have soft toys (with no sharp edges or small parts/pieces) for your baby. Try to get toys that wash easily.
11. Stack items, such as blocks, plastic kitchen bowls, plastic bottles, shoe boxes, margarine containers or Tupperware.
12. Teach your baby how to sort, starting with colored wooden blocks.
13. Help your baby learn to put puzzles together, making sure they are age-appropriate and safe.
14. Increase your baby's eye/hand coordination by rolling a ball.
15. Encourage your child to work along with you as you complete household chores. Play together by putting toys, clothes and plastic containers in drawers or cupboards.
16. Play soft music that has a steady beat.
17. Sing your favorite lullabies and other songs to your baby.
18. Give verbal praise. This is very important to your baby.
Do you have more ideas?
Would love to hear from you.