Starting Babies Reading Early

Posted by Matt

April 17th, 2010

One of the things I’ve been most pleased with, now that she’s a year old, is that our daughter goes out of her way to interact with her books. She’ll pull them off her shelf and flip the pages herself, playing with all the textured bits on the touchy-feely ones, handing me the one of choice and shows obvious signs of excitement when I produce a book to read to her.

She’s so interested, that we use an ablative layer of books to protect the DVDs on the TV stand as they distract her from causing too much chaos!

One of the first things we received when she was born was a Bookstart pack. It’s a great idea, getting books into the hands of parents and kids early and encouraging parents to read to their offspring as soon as possible! It’s certainly something I can recommend both as a good shared experience and a satisfying feeling of achievement for a new parent.

I started reading to her very early on, within the first few months. In those early Sunday mornings when I was the one doing the baby shift so my wife could have a break. I read her Mister Magnolia, which is a fun Quentin Blake poem I remembered from my own childhood and that my mum had given to us. The rhyming sounds really seemed to click with her, even if the book is way too advanced for that age really, I knew the words off by heart and that was an advantage to finding the right voice.

Later on That’s Not My Bear and its many companion books were the reading material of choice due to the touchy-feely patches and easy to turn pages. We had lots of luck recently with Dear Zoo and Hide and Seek Bunnies – though these were once she’d got enough motor control to lift the flaps (about 9 months onwards). You’ll need to get a little less squeamish about books being damaged though with those though as infant hands are imprecise tools…

So anyway, the key thing was really to start early and make it a part of routine. At a year old she practically demands a story is read with her before bed, I’m immensely pleased by that and hope it’s the start of a lifelong love of reading!

So what tips and advice do you have for reading with baby?

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2 Responses to “Starting Babies Reading Early”

  1. Cole Says: April 20th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Great to hear

    Bookstart is a great initiative (but i’m biased as my wife is a project officer for them).
    One thing the Bookstart initiative has highlighted is not necessarily reading but just the importance of spending one-to-one time with young babies and toddlers and getting them used to the joy of being around books.
    Making books fun with rhymes and games and songs.

    A great read for young bairns is Louie’s Little Zoo. Will ask wife for some more suggestions 😉

  2. Matt Says: April 20th, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Definitely! It’s an association thing – making books an expected and fun part of daily life and interacting with parents.

    Brilliant that your wife works for Bookstart, I think it’s a wonderful concept that deserves as much support as possible. Oh, I forgot to link their recommended books for under 5s.

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