There are some who might think that it is a waste of time to read to babies, since they cannot understand the words you are speaking nor read the words on the page.
That is nonsense!
Reading to babies has so many benefits. First and foremost, it is a special way to spend time with your baby. I have many fond memories of sitting my children in my lap while I was on the rocking chair. We would share books, point to the pictures, talk about what we saw…even if I was the one doing all the talking. My children could feel my love for them as I held them, kissed the tops of their sweet smelling heads, and read in a loving voice. I was giving my children a positive relationship with the written word.
Reading to your babies is also about communicating. Many board books are simply a picture with a single word. I would talk to my children and tell stories, thereby helping their pre-communication skills. Using different intonations lets your child hear inflections in your voice. After all, we do not speak in monotone!
Books for babies are bright, colorful and pleasing to the eye. It gives them another look a the world they live in.
Why Board Books Are Perfect for Babies
If you give a baby an object, one of the first things she will do with it is put it in her mouth. That is one major way that they explore the world around them. Imagine doing that with a paperback…it not only would ruin a good book, but it is a choking hazard.
Board books are made of durable cardboard, so adults do not have to worry about pages being torn from the book. Teething a board book will not cause it any harm, and germs are easily wiped away.
Another difference is that board books are chunky, which makes them fit easily into a small baby or toddler’s hands. They need thicker things to grasp, as their fine motor skills are far from fully developed.
They also are the perfect gift to give. When someone I know has a baby, I always give a few books as part of the gift. First of all, I am a big believer in reading to infants. Secondly, clothes will be outgrown, but a book will take years to outgrow. In fact, when more children are added to the family, that book will stay around even longer. It might even be put away as a keepsake! You will always be thought of warmly when you give a book to a child.
My Top Board Book Picks
The books are the ones that I read to my own children over and over and over again. I do not keep many things once I no longer have need of them, but these board books are in a special bin of books I am saving to read to my grandchildren in the future.
Anything written by Sandra Boynton makes the perfect gift for babies. Her colorfully illustrated pictures of animals who are involved in situations children find themselves in are whimsical and charming. When I teach in the preschool, I always pull out one of these books to share with the little ones if they want to hear a story.
Goodnight Moon is a classic tale that has been around for decades. The storyline, which is so familiar to kids who love their precious possessions, will have children “reading’ the pages to you after you have read it aloud to them a few times. This is an important prereading skill.
Pat the Bunny is another book that has been around for several generations. It is a touch and feel book, which permits babies and toddlers to touch different textures and learn the various words for them.
Eric Carle is an author/illustrator whom children begin reading as infants and continue to read as they get older. His books are fascinating, as many have flaps and other interesting things inside to keep children actively engaged in the story. Bill Martin, Jr. wrote 300 books for children and is a favorite of both young and old. This particular collection of books contains three stories from the dynamically talented duo that teach children about sight, sound, and colors.
Featured image from pixabay.com