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It may seem strange to sit and read with your baby before they can form words or concentrate for any length of time, but all the research shows that it is a great idea.
The first and most important thing is that it's a special bonding time with your baby. Also, your baby will hear you say words and see you point to words and pictures. They will begin to understand how a book works, and how to turn pages. As your baby becomes a toddler, they will begin to understand the content of the book and recognise pictures of familiar things and people.
Watch this video from MonkeySee. It shows the differences you can expect between reading to a baby or to a toddler. Make sure you "skip" the add on Youtube and get to the video itself.
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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