One thing I’ve long emphasized in my years of working with new parents is that it’s never too early to start reading with your baby. At first it may seem pointless or silly to integrate reading routines when your baby doesn’t yet understand each word, but it’s in fact the opposite. Your baby, whether days-old, a few months or a year will make new associations every time you read and come to understand more and more about language and the world around him. He will also love the closeness that reading with you brings and will likely grow to have an affinity for books and reading long after he’s outgrown your lap.
Boston Baby Nurses is excited to have connected with Barefoot Books about this topic of boosting literacy and cognitive skills while bonding with your baby. Together we stress the importance of establishing a family reading culture from the very beginning and their team has shared some the following great tips on “Making Story Time Magical and Memorable:”
• Don’t feel like you have to read an entire book. Reading a few pages for very little ones (or a chapter at a time for older kids) will keep your child engaged and excited for the next story time with you.
• 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.
• Be creative! Story time is a time to let true personalities shine! Using different voices for each character, or acting out parts of the story can make story time even more memorable and enjoyable for you and your child. Find a special location for story time: curl up together on a blanket on the floor; sit near the fireplace holding your baby close; bring some favorite books along with you when you and your child visit a coffee shop; keep some favorite books in the car, you never know when you might need them. The locations can be just as unique as the stories themselves.
• Document your family reading time as your baby grows through a story time journal and taking pictures. Note the book or story shared, the date, the reactions of family members. And there is nothing sweeter than pictures of the family curled up listening to stories together. You can use these pictures and journal to illustrate the passage of time as family members grow, and see how tastes in books and approaches to reading evolve over time.
In addition to these engaging story time tips, Barefoot Books has graciously provided a book package for a giveaway. One lucky reader will receive two beautiful, newly released books illustrated by Clare Beaton as well as a third book which will be chosen by the Barefoot Books team based on the age of the winner’s children.
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below by Friday December 17. The winner will be selected randomly and notified by email. (Your email will not be shared or published.)
Barefoot Books is an independent children’s publisher with an office in Cambridge, MA and a new flagship Studio in Concord, Mass. The Studio has a wonderful array of family events and programs, many of them free, including daily storytimes, arts and crafts, and more. To experience Barefoot Books, please visit their site where you can find digital videos, storytime podcasts, and free activity sheets that you can enjoy with your family. And for some wonderful activities and story times check out the Concord, MA store calendar here (just click on the orange box on the right of the page!)