Sunday, 14 October 2018

Peek-A-Book: To Foster Your Toddler's Development

Have you ever considered introducing books to an infant? Well, I did when my daughter turned 9 months. Many people advised me to spare the child and let her enjoy her childhood, since books shall become an integral part once she starts her school. However, inculcating early reading habits in toddlers helps in the development of a child in the long run. There is a direct correlation between how many words a baby listen on a daily basis to how quickly they develop their language skills.

Peek-A-Book: To Foster Your Toddler's Development

There is no right age to start enjoying books with an infant and parents can initiate whenever they want to. While your little one does not understand what you are reading but they do get exposure to different pictures, colours, shapes, sounds etc, which fosters development of their brain quickly. Besides, they also start recognizing your voice and tone and the bond between you two gets strengthened.

Type of Books I Started with my Daughter

1) Reading Books: These books have short stories with lots of colourful pictures
2) Activity Books: These books comprise different activities such as sticker sticking, drawing and joining the dots
3) Flip Flap Books: My daughter really loved these books where she enjoyed opening the flaps and see what lies beneath it
4) Touch and Feel Books: There are very helpful in developing sensory skills. These books have different textures on a picture and kids enjoy touching these textures.
5) Sound Books: These are battery operated books which on pressing buttons gives out sounds. Such sounds may be in the form nursery rhymes, animal sounds, etc.

How to Keep Toddlers Engaged with Books

Reading books to a child can also be challenging especially kids having low tolerance levels to sit at one place. So I am highlighting below few points that may help in increasing a child's engagement.
  • Make a comfortable space or area where you can read with the child. Also, choose a time when the baby is most active
  • Always choose books on different subjects and genres to build their interest and at the same time they also become aware of their surroundings
  • I used various techniques to increase the attention such as story telling through finger and hand puppetry, role plays, facial expressions, etc
  • Sit with your toddler on your lap to develop an emotional connect with the child
  • Try to relate the book subject with reality. For instance, if you are reading about fruits and vegetables, show how they look in real
  • Read for short duration as it is very difficult for an infant to focus for a longer time. However, read frequently throughout the day and do it on a consistent basis
  • Do hold conversations and ask questions to your kid and make reading more interactive. For instance point out and name pictures an then ask the baby to find it
  • Keep all the toys and gadgets away that may distract a child and the rhythm of reading is broken
To conclude I would suggest parents to make reading with your child a daily affair. The child will also feel that reading is fun and enjoyable. They may also ask for their favourite book to be read multiple times and one should not hesitate to do so. There are challenges associated with reading with infants but one has to be patient enough and look for innovative means to maintain the kid's interest.