When I talk with people about our ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ baby board book, I often receive a look of confusion when I state that reading this book begins at birth. In my perception, too many adults have a hard time understanding the concept of reading to their babies. I can relate.
When I was pregnant with my first child, my mother encouraged me to read to my baby, even before my baby was born. I thought she was crazy. What an absurd concept to me. There was no way that my baby would understand this book.
This similar thinking keeps many babies from reaping the rewards of books. As adults we believe the book is the story and fail to realize that reading a book involves a variety of experiences that builds our brain.
Think about all that goes into reading to a child……
Being held by you. He/she feels you, a person he/she loves the most, next to them.
Hearing your voice. Believe it or not, by the time babies reach their first birthday they will have learned all the sounds needed to speak their native language. The Nemours Foundation.
Big, bright images. The child visually focuses on the colors, shapes and figures in the book. (Baby board books have big pictures and often bright colors)
Turning the page. He/she observes as the page is moved and a new page appears. Through repetition, he/she learns that this is how books are read.
Communication, imagination, words, stories and literacy become a way of life. He/she does not know any difference but to have books in their life.
We created ‘I Am! Yo Soy!’ with this experience in mind. This book has bold colors, legible font, two languages (bilingual), pictures of real children doing real things, repetition and a positive message to make reading to your child a positive experience.
As parents, we want our child to be smart and successful. So, why is it important to read to your baby?
1. Promotes listening skills
2. Increases the number of vocabulary words the baby hears.
Believe it or not, babies who were read to regularly starting at six months had a 40% increase in receptive vocabulary by the time they were eighteen months of age. Babies in the study who were not read to had only a 16% increase in receptive vocabulary. Pamela C. High, MD and her associates at the Child Development Center at Rhode Island Hospital (Cite below).
3. Develops attention span and memory
4. Helps baby learn to understand meaning to words
5. Promotes bonding and calmness for both baby and parent
6. Instills the love of books and learning
For more information on reading to baby, check out:
‘Read to Your Baby’ at www.readtoyourbaby.com
The Nemours Foundation: “Reading Books to Babies” Internet. http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/all_reading/reading_babies.html. Date accessed 12/29/10.
High, P.C., LaGasse, L., Becker, S., Ahlgren, I. & Gardner, A. (2000) Literacy Promotion in Primary Care Pediatrics: Can We Make a Difference? Pediatrics, 105(4), 927 – 934.
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