I was so busy trying to find this document, that I didn't bother to go see where Eric was, even though I was a little worried he might be getting into trouble. Minutes passed, and I finally decided to go see the reason for such silence. I checked in the kitchen and he wasn't there. Looked in the computer room and nothing. Then I went to check in Jasmine's room and to my surprise, he was right there sitting in Jasmine's reading corner looking at books. I just kept observing by the door without him noticing me. He was turning the pages slowly and was very concentrated. I just smiled.
(This is Jasmine's reading corner).
I love the fact that my children are so hooked on books, like it's something magical to them. Every night when Jasmine lays down on her bed she says, "Mamãe, conta historinha!" which in English means, "Mommy, tell a story!" Her new favorite is "the owl story" as she calls it, but it's really called "Vidinha Boa" which means "Good Little Life".
I know that most of you have children from the ages 0-5, right? So what kind of books do you read to your children? You read to your children, right? Right????
Well, sometimes us new mothers can be quite clueless about some things and that's okay; babies don't come with an user's manual.
I can say I was totally clueless to this subject before I took a children's literature class and read an amazing book called The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. And today I would like to share with you a little bit about the importance of reading to your children from when they're first born.
So let's start with this question: Which book is better for infants?
Since infants don't really concentrate and understand what you're reading, I would say WHATEVER you're reading. Even if it's one of the Twilight series' books or a magazine. Read it while you're nursing, whatever! But do read aloud. The child will get accustomed to your "reading voice" and if you do it while nursing, cuddling, rocking, or feeding your baby, they will associate it with a relaxing-happy moment. You can also read them books with rhymes and colorful books because they will stimulate hearing and sight. A book I really like (and Jasmine used to ak me to read it to her over and over again) is The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss. I read it so much I ended up memorizing it. Rhyming books are also a wonderful tool to help children with their reading skills later on.
Here's another question for you mommies: What is normal behavior by the infant or toddler during the readings?
(This also varies from child to child, but most children act this way. If you're new at this reading aloud ordeal, this might help you). This is all directly from the book:
- At four months of age, since he has limited mobility, a child has little or no choice but to listen and observe, thus making a passive and noncombative audience for the parent, who is probably thinking, "This is easy!"
- By six months, however, the child is more interested in grabbing the book to suck on it than listening (which he's also doing). Bypass the problem by giving him a teething toy or other distraction.
- At eight months, he may prefer turning pages to steady listening. Allow him ample opportunity to explore this activity, but don't give up on the book entirely.
- At twelve months, the child's involvement grows to turning pages for you, pointing to objects you name on the page, even making noises for animals on cue.
- By fifteen months and the onset of walking, his restlessness blossoms fully, and your reading times must be chosen so as not to frustrate his immediate interests.
There are many, many (or should I say countless??) benefits from reading aloud to your children (and we'll talk more about this next week). If you haven't already, start now! Start early! If you are pregnant, start a children's book library right away! You don't need to buy tons of expensive books. Start with one that you love and go from there. And there's alwayays the library too, so there are no excuses. You can even find some at the thrift store in good condition.
My mother-in-law gave me this website (click here) a few days ago and told me that a friend of hers buys books from them. There are some great deals, you should check it out!
So to give you guys a head start...Here are a few rhyming books that I LOVE:
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by bill Martin, Jr.
- The Napping House by Audrey Wood
- The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
- There's a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
There are so many more I could put on here and I will if you guys want me to. But first I want to know what are some of your favorite books for babies and small children. Do share!