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For this age, there are books that have just one named picture on each page. Looking at the pictures is fun. If you name a picture aloud your child will begin to recognise the word and know what it means.
As well as books, you might like to install a free app for your smart phone. It's called "100 words for Babies". Click here for a version suitable for Android smart phones and here for a version suitable for iphones and ipads. We think that real books are better, but it's up to you. Whether you share a book or the app with your child, have fun with your child by:
- Sitting your child on your knee and pointing to the picture.
- Naming what is in the picture. For example, say "tiger" if you see a tiger.
- Having fun doing the sound effects. Say "the tiger roars - grrraaah".
- As your child gets older and has a few words, asking your child "What's in the picture?"
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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