Rhymes and Songs
Babies love to hear your voice, again and again and again. Singing and reciting nursery rhymes
stimulates brain development and language acquisition. Fingerplays and action songs
are a great way for them to learn about themselves and the world around them.
Note the instructions for bouncing and moving your baby as you recite the rhymes. They will respond with pleasure and gain body awareness at the same time.
Reading: Get the Library Habit
You can (and should) read to your baby from birth. Watch for that “quiet alert” time when your child will be most receptive. Those times when they are held “captive” – in their stroller, high chair, or even the bathtub – provide reading opportunities. And don’t forget that classic standby – the bedtime story. BUT read to your baby every day, any time, anywhere that you can, again and again and again. DON’T forget that young children learn through repetition.
Five Easy Steps for Sharing Books with Your Baby
- Pick the best time: A time when you and your baby are in a good mood
- Show baby the book: Point to the pictures and talk naturally and cheerfully
- Talk and have fun: Remember to touch and love your baby the whole time
- Watch what baby does: Let your baby play with the book if he wants to and stop for now if he gets upset
- Share a book with your baby everyday: Even just a few minutes a day is important.
Selecting Books for Babies
- Choose books with simple, clear illustrations. Just a few bright colors or black and white provide the high contrast babies need to focus their eyes during the early months.
- Stories with brief, concrete text are best. Repeating phrases, rhyme or a rhythmic text will help capture baby's attention; don't rule out longer stories with these qualities. These books can help with language development.
- Baby’s Own Books: Books made of cardboard and cloth will stand up to a lot of drool and chewing.
- Borrow books from the library for a "test run" before you purchase. Some books look cute at first glance, but won't stand up to the test of repeated readings. Others will be favorites from now through your child's primary school years.
- Books about the baby’s world—family and daily activities—are what they relate to best.
- All the books on the Books for Babies: Readings for the First Year come highly recommended by babies of all shapes and sizes.