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Old 04-13-2004, 02:13 PM
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Tips for Reading With Your Toddler

Here are a few tips for the new mom or dad about reading with babies and toddlers:

Make it fun! If I could give one piece of advice, it would be just that. Create what Jim Trelease calls a ďrain forest of readingĒ at your home. Make sure that every time you read with your baby, they have a good time.

Make it short! Donít expect your baby to remain attentive to a picture book that takes more than 5 minutes to read. Their attention span is just developing and you always want them to leave the reading experience with a good taste in their mouth. If they squirm and wiggle when you want to read a story, perhaps itís best to put it off until a calmer time (just before nap, after lunch, or as part of the bedtime routine).

Make it interactive! If youíre reading during the day, talk with your baby about the visual images in picture books. Even before they can respond, their eyes and brains are absorbing everything you do. Ask them questions and answer for them until they can answer on their own. Point to the pictures and talk about whatís in them. Occasionally track the words with your finger as you read so they get an idea of how print works. Hold them close and relish getting to know what tickles their fancy and how they think.

Happy cuddling and happy reading!

Cathy Puett Miller
Babyzoneís Literacy Ambassador
Babyzone .com

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