Reading Together

Posts Tagged ‘baby

I just discovered Because Babies Grow Up, a blog about what to do with your babies when they “grow up”. Essentially, once your baby is no longer newborn how do you interact with them.  She writes here about how music and books promote emergent literacy. 

I wrote in this post about interacting with your babies to make them smarter.  “Because Babies Grow Up” is a blog that gives a lot of helpful hints about how to interact with your baby without putting them in front of the television. Books, songs and music are all great ways to do this. 

This post is an entry into the “Because Babies Grow Up” giveaway for the ebook “Laptime Songs for Mommies”.

Tags: ,

It has been awhile since my last post and I have a very good reason! The best reason actually.  My new baby boy was born on May 3rd.  He is wonderful but life has been very busy since then.  He is a month old and I have just been able to get back to writing recently.  In his short life he has, of course, been introduced to books.  He has sat in my lap on more than one occasion when I have read to his big sister.  He doesn’t look at the book though but stares at me while I am reading like I am the only thing in the world.  Motherhood is beautiful! I have read to him exclusively, although moments without his big sister around are few and far between and often when I am in need of sleep.  I enjoy reading my favorites to him: Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You. 

blackandwhiteI have also introduced him to the Tana Hoban books.   These are wonderful board books with black and white contrasting pictures.  Babies are better able to see these high contrasting black and white illustrations.  I use them during his “tummy time” to get him looking up.  There is only one object on a page and I tell him what they are and talk about them.  Talking to your baby is so important to increase language skills.  I also get big sis involved.  She will tell him what the pictures are as well and turn the pages.  It is never to early to read to your baby!

Books by Tana Hoban include the following titles: Black & White, White on Black, Black on White, and Who are They?

Beginning with Books is an early literacy outreach organization in Pittsburgh, PA.  Every year they come up with the “Best Books for Babies”.  This year’s list has just been announced:

http://www.beginningwithbooks.org/best-books-babies-11

I haven’t seen them all yet but I imagine I will soon.  They usually put out a great list.  Here are two I would definitely recommend for babies and toddlers that are on the list this year.

buckle1,2 Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines.  Great illustrations and a wonderful book to learn to count with.  My daughter and I spent quite a bit of time talking about the colors and counting with this book.

fingers1Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox.  Such adorable babies and a smooth flowing text perfect for reading aloud.

 

I also love to see the inclusion of a book about sign language for babies on the list (Baby Signs: A Baby-sized Guide to Speaking with Sign Language  pictures by Joy Allen) .  I am passionate about using sign language with babies and taught my daughter sign language.  I have another blog which I have not updated in forever but will once I begin to teach my son (on his way any day now) how to sign.  You can find it at http://signingmommy.blogspot.com.

Karen Katz is a prolific author/illustrator of children’ books.  Her books for babies are among my favorite and my daughter’s favorites.  Her folk-art  illustrations of babies are nothing short of cute and adorable.  She has created a series of holiday books for babies and toddlers that feature flaps which are always a hit with little ones.  Flaps in a book are great for babies and toddler because they get your child interacting with a book.  Some of the titles in the series are:

Where is Baby’s Valentine?

Where are Baby’s Easter Eggs?

Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?

Where is Baby’s Dreidel?

Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake?

This year she has already published several new titles.  1The first is Shake It Up, Baby!  featuring again Katz’s charming baby illustrations and a fun, interactive text.  Making it a sure hit with babies and toddlers is the spine filled with tiny beads so when the book is shaken it sounds like a rattle.  The babies in the book are shaking their rattles and clapping their hands. 

Next is a sequel to Princess Baby, which introduced the sweet baby who was called everything else besides what she wanted to be called, “Princess Baby.”  In Princess Baby, Night-Night, Princess Baby is getting ready for 2bed.  As her parents are asking her if she is putting her pajamas on or brushing her teeth, she is preparing her stuffed animals for bed instead of herself.  She ends up on her bedroom floor curled up with all her animals.  This is relatable for all toddlers who love to play pretend with their animal friends.  I hope Princess Baby returns for more.

A Child’s Good Morning Book  is a poem written by Margaret Wise Brown 3which Katz illustrated.  The babies in this book, as in all Katz’s books, are sure to catch the attention of babies and toddlers and make them favorites.  Babies and toddlers can relate to the books as well because the babies are all doing things they do themselves; whether it’s searching for a Valentine, shaking a rattle, putting their favorite toy to bed or as in A Child’s Good Morning Book, waking up and starting the day. 

 

Most research agrees that TV and DVDs have no benefit to babies and toddlers. DVDs such as “Baby Genius”, “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein” which claim to make your baby smarter actually have no benefit at all according to recent studies.
Best Practices for Parents
Most parents admit to allowing their baby or toddler to watch television. Television is a part of our culture and it is hard to avoid. This is despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children under age of 2 should not be in front of a television or computer. If a parent is allowing their child to watch television they must be mindful of the fact that their child is not gaining any benefits from their television watching and put limits on how much and when. They should also stay in the room with their child while they are watching. Parent-child interaction is one way to add some benefit to television watching. A parent can comment on what is happening on the screen and connect it to something in the child’s environment such as a favorite toy or book.

What will Make your Baby or Toddler Smarter?
A child’s first and best teacher are their parents. How can parents help ensure there child will have the best beginning? Try these tips. Please note all three tips require no special equipment or DVDs.

1. Read to your Child
Read to your child every day and begin at a young age. Babies enjoy hearing their mother’s voice and they find it very soothing. They also can bond with their father or other caregivers through the simple act of sitting down and reading a book or two. Have books everywhere in the house and allow your child easy access to them. Reading to your child is the best way for your child to develop language skills necessary to succeed in school.

2. Talk to your Child
Babies love the soothing sound of their mothers voice. Tell your baby or toddler about your day. Talk to him about what you are doing step by step. For example, “It’s time to change your diaper” or “Let’s button up your coat.” Go for walks and point out the cars, trees and birds. Say as much as you can to your child and he or she will develop great language skills later on. Also, sing to your child. Babies love being sung to and toddlers love music. You don’t have to have a great voice but songs and rhymes will also help develop language skills and higher IQ.

3. Interact with your Child
Get down on the floor with your baby or toddler and play. Let your imagination and inner child run wild and see what your child sees. Children learn through play and they learn through interacting with the adults around them. Sitting on the floor and interacting with your baby is the best way for your child to learn from you.

The best thing you can do for your child is give her a piece of you every day. So turn off that television and read, talk and play with your baby or toddler.TV and DVDs offer no benefit to babies and toddlers.

Resources:

www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/03/babies.watch.TV/index.html.

http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer

index

The best time to read together with your child is while putting them to bed.   It is a great way to wind down from the day.  If you’ve been too busy to sit down and read all day, make reading at bedtime a habit and part of your child’s bedtime routine.  This way you make sure you are reading to your child atleast once every day.  

 The image of a child nestled snug in their bed while an adult reads to them is classic and may be one of the reasons why I wanted to have children.  Reading a story or two at bedtime to my delightful two year old is my favorite time of day.  I recently discovered a wonderful new bedtime book called Sleepsong by George Ella Lyon.  It has wonderful rhythm and begs to be read in a soft soothing voice.  There is music that the author wrote as well but just reading it aloud makes for a wonderful bedtime experience.    The illustrations by Peter Catalanotto depict a child getting ready for bed on the top half of each full page spread while the bottom half are whimsical  renderings of animals going to sleep. The illustrations set the mood for going to bed each night. 

 Here some of my other bedtime favorites.  Keep in mind that some of these you will be asked to read again and again.  I now have Goodnight Moon memorized because I have read it so much.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

Goodnight, Goodnight Sleepyhead  by Ruth Krauss

I Love You, Good Night by Jon Buller and Susan Schade

Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems

SSsssshh! Everybody’s Sleeping by Julie Markes



  • None
  • Amber: Thanks for sharing my blog with your readers! You summed up the reason for the name better than I've been able to :) Good luck in the giveaway!
  • Musing: I wasn't able to finish Twilight myself, but I'm always glad to hear of young people being turned on to reading. :)
  • juliannahelt: I forgot about Twelve Hats for Lena. It is a great book! Thanks for mentioning it.