How to make reading to your baby fun

17 Jun

Today’s post is from Jennifer David, who runs Debutots in venues all over North London.  Jennifer’s classes are fun and interactive – we both have kids who have attended both in the past and currently (one of our favourite North London baby classes), and who are big fans. Debutots is a great place to meet other mums and relax with your baby in London. There are always books after a session of Debutots for the little ones, here is some advice on making reading with your babies fun.

Reading books to your babies is not only important, it’s also such a lovely activity for both of you to enjoy!

reading to your baby

Storytelling is key in developing language and literacy and was actually the very first form of education. If you start reading to your children at a very young age you’re setting them up for such vital skills for later on, as well as nurturing in them a love of language and story. Reading to them is also great for improving their attention and listening abilities.

We all have a storyteller inside of us, some of us are just crazier, more outgoing or more confident than others. The more you read to your children the more competent a storyteller you’ll feel.

I’d recommend starting to read to your babies at about 4 or 5 months. Don’t worry if they’re not interested yet though. I remember my first child would love to be read to from about that age, so when I started at that age with my second child I remember being so disappointed when time after time she would just close the book for me as soon as I opened it! I left it for a week or two, then tried again (and again!) until she was interested.  We got there in the end!

baby interested in books

Here are some Story Time tips to get you started:

1. Choose a good time in the day to read to your child and try to read at the same time everyday, if possible.

2. Choose a book that’s age appropriate. You can ask for recommendations from friends or family with children, or in children’s bookshops or libraries.

3. When selecting books for your little one, choose books you will enjoy. If there’s something in particular that you don’t enjoy or certain illustrations that you don’t like then avoid them as you won’t enjoy reading to your child and they won’t enjoy listening to you!

4. Make sure there are no distractions in the background (such as your phone, or television or radio!).

5. Try to put all the things you worry about or have to organise out of your mind. Use this as “quiet time” for your mind as well as your child’s; enjoy escaping into a lovely story world!

6. Before you begin the story, always read out the title of the book – no matter how many times you read the book.

7. Put as much expression as you can into your reading, change the pace at which you read, increase and decrease the volume of your speech, put on funny little voices for different characters, really go for it with any animal noises too! The more colour and humour you can use, the more enjoyable an experience it will be for you both.

baby loves books

What are your baby or children’s favourite books? Do have have any more tips to share with our readers?  If you’d like to find out more about our mum and baby groups for new mums in London, please send us an email!

 

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