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It's never too early to introduce your baby or toddler to books. They will learn how to hold a book, and get used to the idea of turning pages to discover what comes next. They will love to sit on your knee and hear you talk about what's on each page of the book.
At this young age soft books made from cloth or plastic are a great idea. If they get chewed or dirty you can wash the soft book carefully. Soft books often have pockets or flaps to lift, or different attachments and textures to discover. Soft plastic books can go into the bath with baby.
Have a look at this video of a soft book called "Baby's Day". The baby can be moved from page by page and taken through all the activities of the day.
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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