Why Read Aloud?
- Your baby will learn to focus and listen.
- You will help create a lifelong reader and learner.
- You will share a wonderful experience.
What Should You Read?
Beginning after birth: greeting cards, nursery rhymes, songs, cloth and tub books, board books, bright picture books. Your voice and the shared ritual will set a pattern for what is to come.
Read a favorite book as often as requested, but continue to add new ones.
Read aloud books that help your child learn the names of all the objects in your surroundings. Point to the objects in the pictures, call them by name and praise your child for naming them once your child learns to talk.
Reading Begins at Home
What can you do to help your baby develop a healthy mind?
- Read to your baby.
- Tell your baby stories about your family.
- Limit the time your baby spends watching TV.
- Keep a collection of children's books and magazines at home.
- Sing to your baby.
- Recite nursery rhymes to your baby.
- Take your baby to the library to check out books.
- Turn off the TV and radio before you begin reading with your baby.
- Sit your baby on your lap or close to you on the floor. Read with emotion. Change your voice for different characters.
- Show your baby the pictures in the book.
- Read slowly enough for your child to understand.
- Be willing to stop reading if your child is not interested.
- Set aside a special reading time each day.
- Let your baby be noisy and active while you are reading.
Tips on Talking to Your Baby
Talk directly to your baby. Don't expect her to be able to follow conversations when others talk about her, not to her. Find time each day to talk only to her and allow her time to respond with "words" of her own.
Overact for your baby. Sing, dance, point and use sign language to exaggerate speech. Communication involves the whole body, so don't just focus on his mouth and ears.
Use labeling words. If you are hunting under the bed for your baby's shoes, say, "Oh, where are your shoes?" rather than "Oh, where are they?" When you ask her a question, use her name. She won't understand "you," "me" or "I" for quite a while.
Talk about things your baby can see, touch or taste. Tell him, "Look at the kitty. Do you see the kitty? The kitty is climbing a tree."
Try to understand your baby's attempts to speak. Motivate her first attempts by doing your best to figure out what she needs. For example, if she points to the refrigerator, open it up, take out different items, name them and urge her to repeat after you. Next time she may ask for one of those items by name.
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Burke County Library
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Aiken County Public Library
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Nancy Carson Library
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North Augusta, S.C.
Augusta State University Literacy Center offers free tutoring for all ages as well as workshops for parents. Call 706/733-7043.
Born to Read Program sponsored by a gift from the Volunteer Board of University Health.
For more information, call the University Health Care System Volunteer Board at 706/774-2208.