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Even when your baby is very tiny you can show them that books are for every day, and that they're fun! Sit your child on your lap and read to them even before they can understand. You will be building a pleasurable habit that can last a lifetime.
There are so many different types of books available for babies and toddlers - cloth books; waterproof bath books; pop-up books, or books with a flap that reveals something; books you can attach to the buggy; books that make sounds when your child presses the page, or have different textures to feel. See which ones your child enjoys.
Your local library will have a selection of children's books all arranged by age, and staff there will help you find what you are looking for. Remember, it's a free service!
Sharing stories play an important role in a child’s development. They not only help children learn language and reading skills but they also have an emotional quality which can help children make sense of their feelings. Reading to babies and young children, and giving them time to respond, will help make the most of this opportunity. Recognising shapes will help your child to learn to read later on.
The most important thing is that reading is fun and enjoyable for both of you – five minutes can be enough. Just turn off the TV and find a quiet place so there are no distractions. And remember stories are not just found in books, it’s just as good to tell your child short, simple stories you know.
Remember, you’re not teaching your child to read. You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, and sharing stories and giving your child time to respond is a wonderful way to help your child’s language development.
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