1. Use Your Voice
Animal noises. Tongue-clicking. Raspberries. Songs! No one loves funny sound effects more than your baby does. Don’t be afraid to go over the top with weird noises as you read. Your baby will start to imitate you, and your first “conversation” may ensue.
2. Visit the Library
Once your child can hold books on her own, bring her to your nearest library. Offer her a selection of books and see which ones she picks up, and which ones she pays attention to for the longest time. You can check out her favorites (at this age, stick with board books) and enjoy them together at home.
3. Be a Role Model
Your baby is playing on his own. You’re eyeing that magazine you had to put down when he got up from his nap. Your baby is happily amusing himself with a toy. Feeling too guilty to read while you’re baby is awake? Grab that magazine and relax! One of the top tips for building literacy in kids is to be a role model and show him how you love to read too. You may be surprised to find your baby leafing through a pile of books by himself as well.
4. Familiar Faces
Find a plastic-coated baby’s photo album that you can put pictures into. Your baby will love leafing through pictures of her loved ones. Be sure to include lots of pictures of your baby, too. As you “read” the photo album, tell her stories of the fun things she has done with the person she’s looking at. Pretty soon, she will be able to leaf through the book and identify every picture.
5. Look it Up
You are driving in the car and pass a construction site. As a jackhammer rips through the pavement, a backhoe lifts dirt from a pit. From the car seat in the back, you can hear you son go wild. This is a kid who needs a book about construction vehicles! Whether your little one demonstrates an interest in dogs, flowers, or balls, there will be a book with pictures that will fascinate him.