And many thanks to Barefoot Books!
Check out these tips for reading to your babies from Leah Lesser of Barefoot Books and then follow the instructions below to enter to win two board books!!
So many of us have been there. Cuddled up with our baby in the rocker or on the couch, or a picnic blanket, or wherever you may be sharing a quiet story or two together. And then drool oozes out of her yummy mouth right onto the book. Sigh. It’s all part of the natural progression of babyhood and new parenthood. There’s a first time for everything and hey, at least she didn’t start eating the book. Oh don’t worry, that will happen too.
Storytime offers a perfect opportunity for family bonding at its best, while helping babies develop essential early literacy and cognitive skills, and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are some fun and simple ways parents and caregivers can make storytimes with their baby a magical part of the day, everyday:
- When you read to your baby, even when they are a newborn, you are fostering in them a lifetime love of books and learning, and are helping to spark their imaginations and sense of wonder. You can begin storytime with your baby even when they are just a few weeks old. Babies love to be held close, look at your face and hear your voice, and that is exactly what storytime is about.
- Choose a quiet, comfortable spot for storytime with your baby. It may be holding your baby on a cozy rocking chair, on the floor with large pillows, or outdoors in warm months lying on a blanket together. Oh, and don’t worry about the drool. It can be picked up easily with a cloth, a wipe, or even your sleeve (Ewww! Maybe to some, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t alone in mopping up drool with my own sleeve when my kids were teeny.)
- Reading time doesn’t have to be at bedtime. Consider other times of the day when you can read together. Some families enjoy reading with their children early in the morning as a special way to start the day, or during bath time when your baby is sitting safely in the tub and you are sitting close by.
- Show your baby the pictures. Babies love colourful pictures and enjoy them even more when you point out the different colors, shapes, animals, expressions, and other details and talk with your baby about the story. “What color is the kangaroo? Do you see the girl smiling? Why do you think she is happy?” Even if your baby is not old enough to answer, having these “conversations” is an important way to develop their early cognitive and social skills.
- Be creative! Storytime is a time to let true personalities shine! Using different voices for each character, or acting out parts of the story can make storytime even more memorable and enjoyable for you and your baby. Have some fun with it and your baby will too. Get on your hands and knees and bark like a puppy, hop like a bird, or sing the story, and soon enough, you will find your baby laughing and trying to imitate what you do. This is how they learn about the world in fun ways.
- Take pictures! There is nothing sweeter than pictures of family members snuggled up listening to stories together. You can use these pictures to illustrate the passage of time as family members grow, their taste in books evolve, the books become longer as the children grow older, etc.
- Keep a storytime journal: Write down the book or story shared, the date, and your baby’s reactions. The journal will become a beautiful memory piece as time goes by.
I hope you find these tips useful as you discover your own ways to bond with your baby through storytimes. How do you share stories with your baby? You can find more ideas and activities at www.barefootbooks.com.
Enter to Win TWO Board Books from Barefoot
To enter: head over to the Barefoot Books facebook page and “like” them–then, make sure you are a fan of Mothering on facebook and leave a comment telling us what your favorite board book of all time is here on the blog.
For a second entry: share this giveaway with friends and leave a second comment on the blog.
Rules: Two winners will be drawn randomly on Wed, April 4th at 5pm ET from all entries. US Residents only, except where prohibited. Two entries per person, one for liking and one for sharing.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.