I cannot tell you how excited I am to host this first day of the fifth year of Share A Story, Shape a Future 2013 .
This year’s theme is Literacy: The First Five Years, and today’s topic is on reading with infants. I’m going to share with you my Five Realities for Reading with Infants, and then send you along to visit some other folks.
So without further chit chat (because if you’re reading this, and actually have small children–like me–don’t have time for small chit chat):
Reading with Infants (the Fairytale )
1. Read 20 minutes a day
2. Always have your child sit still and quiet on your lap
3. Turn pages from left to right
4. Read the text as it is written on the page
5. Read only board books (longer stories are too hard)
Yeah, you’re laughing right? Me too. Because my youngest is 15 months and this is not what reading has looked like at our house prior to this point. So let me share with you our version.
Reading with Infants (the Reality)
1. Aim for 20 minutes And not20 consecutive minutes. And let’s be honest, not every day. Because there are some days that it’s just. not. happening. And that’s fine.
2. Attempt to have your child sit still and quiet on your lap. I love these cuddle times. And I’m well-aware that the time is fleeting, so grab it while you can. But also accept that the closer you get to that first birthday, the more wriggly those little babies become. Storytime at this age is more…ahem…interactive.
3. Turn pages. That’s it. Allow your child to look at different pages. Whether they’re in the right order or not isn’t necessarily important . That skill will come, but if your baby loves that page with the brown puppy, or the cow, or the goldfish and insists on returning to that page multiple times, that’s fine, too.
4. Take the text as a suggestion. Most board books have minimal text, but even amongst this format the texts vary from those that have a single, identifying word on each page, to those that tell a (brief) story. Don’t get hung up on the text. One of my 15 month old’s favorite books is an animal book that has brief exploratory questions like, “Which animal has the curly tail?” He has no idea, nor does he care. But he loves hearing me make that pig sound.
5. Read whatever your child shows interest in. Yes, we read alot of board books in the first year. Since babies love to chew, pull and grab, this format works well. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to board books only. Read whatever your child shows interest in (just keep those books on a higher shelf for self-preservation)
Have another reality to share? Leave it in the comments so we can all enjoy!
Tif at Tif Talks Books is chatting about “Reading Up” with your children (which I touched on briefly with #5, but she’s got so much more to share).
Jen at Jen Robinson’s Book Page is sharing her list of recommended books to give as baby gifts, and I’m sure you’ll fine one or two you wouldn’t have thought of.
Terry at Family Bookshelf is offering advice for building a library for infants, something that can begin before baby arrives, but continues on as you come to know this new little person.
Laurie at MarketingBarefoot is contemplating what to do when your infant just doesn’t seem to show interest in the book you’ve selected (sound familiar??)
Lisa from Giving Gifts is rounding up a few of her own unique favorite books to give as baby gifts
And if all that is not enough, keep an eye on the Share A Story page for writing prompts and opportunities to win some pretty amazing prizes.
Don’t have infants at home? Check the schedule because we’ll be featuring a different age group each day, up to age 5.
Happy Monday, friends!