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When your baby can sit up, get down on the ground together and have fun talking and playing a game of "under cover".
Hide one of their toys, a picture book, or a favourite teddy, under a cloth or box. Ask questions like "Where's teddy gone?", and "Can you find teddy?"
It's fun for them to hide something and find it again. For younger babies objects like toys disappear completely when hidden, so that when they re-appear it's a great surprise. As babies grows older, they begin to understand that objects are still there even when they are hidden. Psychologists call this "object permanence", but that's not important to know. Just have fun playing "under cover" together.
Here's a video of how to play "under cover".
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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