Selecting Books for Infants, Birth to 18 Months
Selecting Books for Infants - Birth to 18 Months
Long before children can walk and talk, they will listen closely to the rhythmic rise and fall of their caregiver's voice. Before six months, the baby's experience with stories and poems is closely tied to music and rhythm experiences.
Babies older than six months still enjoy rhythmic sounds and repetition. Reading nursery rhymes and simple stories to babies will help develop their language skills and offer a change in the words and sounds they hear every day. Reading to babies also will help them learn to listen and to tell the difference between sounds.
Cloth books, soft plastic books, and board books, simple story books, and wordless picture books offer babies something to feel, touch, look at, and think about. By looking at books, babies will learn that pictures have meaning. As you point out things in the pictures, they will begin to use their eyes to connect pictures with words.
A six-month-old is ready to sit in your lap and can reach out to touch and feel the book as you point to the pictures. By nine months, most babies will try to help you turn the pages. Turning the pages of a think board book will help infants feel good about what they can do, as well as help develop their small muscle coordination. Choose a book with a short, simple story and a lot of rhythm and repeated words and phrases.
Books for Infants
Simple story books, nursery rhymes, poems, wordless picture books, cloth and board books are good choices for babies. Young infants will enjoy picture books made of cloth or cardboard that have pictures of things they know. They like eye-catching colors such as red, blue, or yellow, and pictures with high contrast like simple black and white drawings.
From about 15 months to 18 months, you can start to read simple stories with plots. Books that children can take part in, like Pat the Bunny, delight older babies. Books that introduce ideas like up/down, in/out, big/little, and over/under are good for older infants as well.
Copyright 2007 by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
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