Sunday, April 29, 2012

How i interest my baby to read

This is the number of books babydoll reads in a sitting. I try to read to her 3 times a day and usually she would sit on my lap & look at the books attentively while i read this amount of books aloud to her. And then, after i am done reading with the stack of books, she would fuss for more books or insist i read some books again.

Of course, babydoll, like any other babies, started off with limited attention span. She would either look or crawl away.Same goes for sonshine. But i adhere to some tips and gradually both my kids developed the interest & (*had to scoot off halfway while typing this because the girl was yelling for me to read a book to her!*) longer attention span for books.

1) Choose books with one word or short phrases.
Babies have short attention span, hence it would be too ambitious to expect them to sit through a storybook.
 I usually start reading books with one word on a page.
Gradually choose books with more words, longer phrases as the baby's interest & attention grows longer.

2) When i first introduce reading books, I'll read very fast (that's another reason why i choose very short books) again due to their short attention span. Once she shows more interest, I'll read at a slower pace.

3) I'll start off with just one or two books then gradually increase according to her ability to focus.

4) Start reading at a very very young age, at best 6 months when the baby can sit up. The idea is to introduce this routine and make it the baby's habit to read daily. At this age, they are not so mobile, so you've got a captive audience. They have no choice but listen to you read! Make it a habit such that even when they grow independent, they will still accept reading as part of their daily routine. Also, be very consistent & do it at a regular time in the day so that the baby will grow to expect it (& enjoy).

5) Be a role model. Read in front of your kids. Be it the newspaper, a magazine etc. I like to read and sometimes have a book at hand that i would dive into. Whenever i can, i'd read in front of Sonshine who upon seeing me would then pick a book himself and read quietly next to me. AH, bliss!

Of course, these are not fail proof tips. I think it is also very much dependent on the child's personality and every household have their own personal tips. If you are not successful when the baby is at 6 months, try again at 10 months, if not, try again at 12 months, try & try again. Vary your approach & keep trying. I believe the child will eventually pick up the love of reading.

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