Thursday, August 21, 2008

Babies and Books

It is never too soon to introduce your baby to books.

This is my little guy. He loves a handful of books- but the one pictured is his FAVORITE! When I saw he had this book- I quickly grabbed my camera- because he is so dang cute looking at this book.

He loves to look at himself on each page... Near...

And far....


and out....

then back down and all around over and over again.
I bought this book a year or so ago when we were on a family vacation. I was looking for toys/books to keep him happy in his car seat for 5 hours. This book worked great! He still loves it.
When I am picking out books for my baby- I look for a few things. (These tips are to find books your baby will want to look at on their own. Almost any picture book is a great "snuggle up and read with mom book".)
1. I make sure it is a board book. Little guys can't always control themselves and board books hold up better under toddler fingers.
2. I look for books that encourage interaction. (The book above has mirrors on every page. ) Are there things to touch & feel? What will keep my baby's attention since he can't read?
3. Then I look for books with big simple pictures that will encourage "finding things". (Where is the duck? What does a duck say? etc..)
This is the book he is looking at in the pictures and some links to other books my little guy likes.

My baby is in a little play group 3x a week. (I watch two other little boys once a week/for an hour and half, and then he gets to play at their house the following two days. 3 hours a week- kid free. ) When the little guys are at my house- they are soooo dang cute.
First we play with play dough for about 40 min. I sweep my floor and just let them play with it on the floor. (Because little guys working at a kitchen table- little play dough tools or dough balls always end up falling on the floor causing small break downs.. so I'm just skipping that step. )
Next we clean up- and if you haven't noticed- 2 year olds are the KING of clean up. Especially if they know some type of clean up song. ( They clean even better if you sing their name into the song... "Oh Isaac's cleaning up, Isaac's cleaning everyone look at Issac he is cleaning up"... then the next little guy will jump in and help because he wants HIS name to be sung too!)
Then onto the toys- if they haven't already migrated over there. Toys for another 30 minutes. I also offer a small snack. (Banana's, Apple slices, etc..)
Clean up again- they love it!
Then the last few minutes I read stories. We have some small chairs I pull out and they sit down in their chairs. I was in awe the first time, and then I remembered they all go to church Nursery and they are use to this. We sing songs and read .
Then moms are usually back and my turn is done- for the week! Playgroups and swaps are another great survival tip. But I'll leave that topic for another post.
Today- I really just wanted to share the idea.. it's never too early or too late to share books with your little guys. Sure babies will grab the book from your hand and turn pages back and forth. The goal- isn't really to read the book cover to cover... the goal should be to enjoy sharing a book and snuggling with your little one.
Speaking of little ones- I better go after my own!

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